Audi is planning the biggest investment programme in the company's history, investing some 11.6 billion euros (about $15 billion) between 2011 and 2015 in new products and hiring around 1,200 experts to bolster electro-mobility and lightweight construction, the carmaker has announced.
Some two thirds of the investment - more than 9.5 billion euros - will be spent on new technologies such as electric and hybrid drive systems such as the Audi R8 e-tron electric sports car which the company plans on selling in late 2012, according to Axel Strotbek, board member of finance.
Several new models are planned for launch in 2011, including the new A6 and the Q5 hybrid, the first full hybrid from the carmaker. The Audi Q3, to be built in Martorell in Spain, will occupy the midsize premium SUV segment for the first time. Some 20 new models are scheduled for launch by the year 2014.
Some five billion euros will be invested at the company's main German production sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
"In addition to our foreign sites, the German sites will also profit greatly from the Audi brand's good worldwide prospects for growth, especially in China," Strotbek said.