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Audi announces $34 billion expansion plan

Big spender: This Q1 compact SUV will be one of 11 all-new vehicles to be added to the Audi range by 2020.

11 new models planned by Audi as it goes after luxury market leadership

Audi logo30 Dec 2013

AUDI today announced a company record €22 billion ($A34 billion) spending spree to expand its range from 49 models to 60 by 2020 as it chases an extra 500,000 sales a year.

A new baby SUV, the Q1, is just one of the 11 new model lines to be added to the range as the four-ring brand goes after luxury market leadership from German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

While 70 per cent of the investment will be spent on new models and technologies, the rest will be earmarked for an expansion of production facilities around the world to cope with the planned growth of Audi production from the current 1.5 million units a year to two million by the end of the decade.

Lightweight construction methods, vehicle networking and “electromobility” technologies will be among the focus areas within Audi as it brings the new generation of vehicles to market.

Audi AG chairman Rupert Stadler said the Ingolstadt-based company had already “quite comfortably” achieved its previous sales goal of 1.5 million sales a year by 2015.

“We are now decisively steering towards our next milestone of two million deliveries,” he said.

“This is why we are keeping our foot on the gas regarding investments and why we are hiring new employees in 2014,” he said.

The factory expansion plans include the company’s first North American plant, in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico, where it will make the Q5 mid-sized SUV for the world from 2016.

As well, a new factory is being planned for Brazil to build the A3 and Q3, while a new plant is about to open in Foshan, China, where Audi is the leading luxury car company with 460,000 sales in 2013.

In 2014, Audi cars on the launch pad include the electric A3 Sportback e-Tron and natural gas-powered A3 Sportback g-Tron.

As well, the third generation of its TT Coupe is also ready to hit the market in the coming 12 months.

Audi recently confirmed that it would launch its smallest SUV, the Q1, in 2016.

To be built at Ingolstadt, the vehicle will be based on the Volkswagen Polo platform that also underpins the Audi A1.

Also on the agenda might be a two-door crossover vehicle, with Audi promising a fresh concept at the 2014 Detroit motor show in January.

While Audi is planning a model expansion, its rivals are not planning to stand still either, with Mercedes planning to add about 13 all-new models and BMW Group about 10 in the next two years.

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