With an Audi vehicle selling every 22 seconds, the popularity of the four-ring badge has placed greater emphasis into making the right decisions for the German luxury brand’s future. A month ago, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG Rupert Stadler presented an explicit presentation on the state of the German luxury car brand. As Audi utilizes new technologies and ideas, upcoming production models could be shaped with radical concepts.
Rupert Stadler spoke proudly of the success of Audi as well as affiliate brands Lamborghini and motorcycle maker Ducati. Highlighting several new products, the Audi A3 and Audi A3 e-Tron was enthusiastically pitched. A model line responsible for over three-million Audi products sold, the new Audi A3 has already been confirmed for the United States. In addition to the Audi A3 e-tron combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine, the compact car will also be sold in a variant burning natural gas. Audi’s Stadler also spoke in depth about research into e-gas, e-diesel and e-ethanol. Derived largely from carbon dioxide, the potential with this fuel source category is a renewable product that can reduce dependency on the Earth’s reserves or farmland.
Audi still takes great pride in the construction of performance-oriented vehicles such as the newly-introduced Audi RS7 Sportback and SQ5 crossover. Stadler points out how the premium car maker delivered four new RS models during the 30th year of quattro all-wheel drive. Recent and radical vehicle introductions was the Audi RS Q3 crossover. Audi has assessed that one of every four premium vehicle sold in now a crossover or sport utility vehicle. Expecting the number to increase by 2020, the Audi RS Q3 and the SQ5 products were reactions to a growing luxury car trend.
Beyond the energy source driving future Audi products, Rupert Stadler mentioned how vehicles could be driven in the future. With many young drivers proficient in the use of their smartphone even before they receive their practice permit, the piloted driving puts vehicle control into a more familiar platform. A major attraction at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Audi’s piloted driving technology demonstrated the promise of computer-aided travel under some circumstances. After the January showcase of the system, Stadler gave a bold decoration about Audi’s piloted driving technology. Rupert Stadler is confident aspects of piloted driving will become part of production automobiles in the next decade. In his annual press conference, a more pragmatic tone recognizes the challenges for the computer-guided system. Stadler pointed to the current lack of consistent operating standards for autonomous systems like Audi’s piloted driving as a hurdle. Audi and the German government is in talks with constructing a legal consciences in the use of computer-guided driving in
With the company intending to sell two million cars by the year 2020, manufacturing capacity was a dominating topic in the final one-third of Rupert Stadler’s speech. The chairman of Audi AG has plans to commit 11 billion euros (14.4 million United States dollars) into enhancements to production facilities around the world. Stadler provided an update on Audi’s Mexican plant slated to be up and running by 2016. The future home of the Audi Q5 crossover, the auto company has already begun taking on employees in key management positions for the San José Chiapa facility. The auto plant in Mexico will be Audi’s first manufacturing facility outside of Europe used to exclusively produce vehicles for the global vehicle marketplace.
Improved fuel economy, increased production capacity and the reality we are bordering on autonomous driving is part of Audi’s future.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Ever wanted to see an Audi A4 being made? Check out this video, which shows the car moving along the assembly line and being made from start to finish: