Audi had announced plans to invest €14bn (£12.5bn) in electric mobility, digitalisation and autonomous driving over the next five years. This investment makes up around 35 per cent of its total projected expenditure for the period, as the firm aims to prepare itself for the future of automotive.
"This planning round bears a clear signature: we are taking a very systematic approach to electric mobility and will be much more focused in future," said Bram Schot, Audi's interim management board chairman. "We are consistently prioritising our resources for future-oriented products and services that are highly attractive and relevant to the market. With models such as the recently presented Audi e-tron GT concept, we want to electrify people again for Audi and at the same time be an agile and very efficient company."
The €14bn will include investments in property, plant and equipment, as well as research and development expenditure. By 2020, the firm plans to offer around 20 electrified models, about half of which will have all-electric drive systems. At the same time, Audi is pushing forward with the digitalisation of its automobiles and plants, and is expanding its business model with new digital services such as 'functions on demand'.
Audi is predicting that its digital transformation will generate positive earnings effects of over €1bn in 2018, counteracting the financial burden of such advanced expenditures. In addition, Audi is aiming to reduce complexity, boost efficiency and discontinue obselescent services as part of its transformation.