Audi will invest €24 billion (AU$35.8 billion) over the next five years on developing new models, adding production facilities and researching cutting-edge technology as it vies for the position of top-selling luxury marque.
That's roughly €2 billion more than what the German automaker spent in the previous planning period, and 70 percent of the total will be spent on designing new models and in-car tech, including more plug-in hybrids to complement the A3 e-tron.
"We are constantly further developing alternative drive systems and focusing above all on connecting the car with its digital environment,” said Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development.
“The car will communicate with the driver, the Internet, the infrastructure and other vehicles, while moving in an environmentally friendly manner.”
By the end of 2020, Audi expects to increase its mode line-up from 50 to 60 models, with the majority of its focus being in the C and D segments (A3 and A4-sized vehicles, in other words).
SUVs will also continue to be of importance, and Audi singled out the upcoming Q1 - due to launch in 2016 - as being one of its key new "Q" models. Later, the Q1 will be joined by the Q9 upper-large SUV and Q8 fastback SUV (Q7 pictured).
Audi also announced that it will have delivered 1.7 million vehicles in 2014, though with the brand ultimately aiming for number-one luxury carmaker status by 2020 it also plans to overhaul its production network in order to increase supply.
The bulk of funds for production line upgrades and personnel increases are earmarked for Audi's German facilities at Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. The rest will be spent in Mexico and Brazil, where new plants will be built to satisfy demand in the Americas.
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