Business in the USA already started to recover in January, with vehicle sales increasing by 1.4 percent compared with the previous year. The new Audi A6 in particular, which was launched in November 2004, is being received extremely well by customers and has recorded a sales increase of just under 50 percent compared with the previous year.
Audi was also successful in China. A total of 64,018 cars (up 0.8 percent) were sold in this market (including Hong Kong). Sales figures in Japan rose by 4.7 percent to 13,751 vehicles. Audi consequently set new records for vehicle sales in 21 markets in 2004, including Great Britain, China, Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, Denmark, Greece and several Eastern European countries.
In Eastern Europe, Audi sales were up by 19.3 percent in 2004 compared with the previous year to 17,146 vehicles (14,374). The region of Eastern Europe, which as far as Audi is concerned comprises the countries of Russia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, the Ukraine and the Baltic states, is thus becoming the biggest growth market for Audi in Europe. “There is still tremendous potential in this region. And in view of the favourable economic situation, we are expecting substantial growth over the next few years,” commented Ralph Weyler, Member of the Audi Board for Marketing and Sales.
Products and production
Audi currently manufactures the Audi A2, Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi A8, the TT Coupé and the TT Roadster models at its three plants in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Györ in Hungary. The Audi product range is completed by the sporty S4 and RS 4 models, the Audi A4 Cabriolet and the Audi allroad quattro.
Audi presented its new face at the end of 2003 in the guise of the Audi A8 6.0. The striking single-frame grille will be the distinguishing feature of all Audi models in future. The A6 saloon, the A3 Sportback, the new A4 saloon and Avant and the S4 versions followed in 2004, the Audi A6 Avant in early 2005.
All new models were received enthusiastically by customers and in the media. This is underlined by the numerous awards that the Audi models have received.
Audi stands for Vorsprung durch Technik, the brand claim that is reflected in its products. The best examples are the aluminium body (Audi Space Frame on the Audi A8 and Lamborghini Gallardo), the Direct Shift Gearbox DSG offered for the Audi TT and Audi A3 and the progressive TDI and FSI engine technology.
CKD production of the Audi 100 at First Automobile Works (FAW)
Since mid-1996: joint venture with FAW and
1996 - 1999: CKD production of the Audi 200.
Since September 1999: CKD production of the long-wheelbase A6
(market launch: January 2000)
Since April 2003: CKD production of the Audi A4
Since April 1999: A3 production
Vorsprung durch Technik
Audi stands for sporty, progressive and sophisticated – for “Vorsprung durch Technik”.
True to this brand slogan, Audi places ultra-advanced technology at its customers’ service. Innovative technologies are a matter of course for Audi. The Audi success factors are creativity, emotion and the ability to generate enthusiasm. In keeping with the sporty brand image, Audi cars have a striking front end and sporty lines.
Giving customers the chance to define precisely the car of their choice is a top priority at Audi. Since 1995, quattro GmbH has been supplying models that satisfy even the most unusual of customer requirements.
Design awards 1996
Audi receives the “1996 Federal Award for Product Design”, the German “Oscar” for good design, for the Audi A4 Avant.
The Chicago Athenaeum, Museum of Architecture and Design, presents the Audi A4 with the “Good Design Award”.
The North Rhine-Westphalia Design Centre awards the Audi A3 its “Red Dot for Highest Design Quality”.
Audi receives the “Good Design Gold Prize” in Japan for the new A6.
The A3 and A6 are awarded the iF Seal of Design Excellence by iF Industrie Forum Design, Hanover. The A6 is voted “Best of Category” for Transport Technology.
Audi receives the “1998 Federal Award for Product Design” for the A3.
The Audi Design Team is voted “1999 Design Team of the Year” by the North Rhine-Westphalia Design Centre.
The Industrie Forum Design, Hanover presents its “iF Product Design Award” to the A2 as “Best of Category” for Transport.
The new A4 receives the coveted “red dot award” for outstanding design from the North Rhine-Westphalia Design Centre. The A4 is also the winner of the “Autonis” award, presented following a readers’ poll in the automotive magazine “AutoStrassenverkehr”.
In the race for the “Autonis” trophies, the A6 Avant and the A3 finish runners-up in their respective categories. Readers vote the A8 into 3rd place in the luxury-class saloon category. The Audi allroad quattro also finishes 3rd, in the off-road vehicle category.
The Audi A2 receives the “Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany”, which is also known as the German “Design Oscar”.
The Audi A8, A4 and the A4 Cabriolet finish 1st in their respective categories in the “Autonis” readers’ poll for the best car design.
The Audi A8 and A4 also win the 2004 “Autonis” design award in the luxury class and midsize class categories. The A3 and A4 Cabriolet finish 2nd in their respective categories. Readers vote the Audi allroad quattro into 3rd place.
The Audi A6 wins the “Most beautiful executive saloon in the world” award in the poll “The most beautiful car in the world 2004”.
The Audi A6 receives the inaugural “World Car of the Year” award. Audi’s sporty executive saloon leaves 35 competitors from all categories behind it, and thus continues the series of awards which the Audi A6 has already won.
Audi endeavours to strike a harmonious balance between economy and ecology. In addition to using natural resources sparingly and recycling scrap cars, Audi strives to supply vehicles with relatively low fuel consumption. The A8 with its body featuring the aluminium Audi Space Frame performs a pioneering role in this respect. As well as technical measures to improve environmental protection, Audi has set up an environmental management system which also guarantees the systematic realisation of its environmental protection policy from an organisational point of view.
1995: Participation in the “Environmental Pact for Bavaria”. Audi commits itself to numerous measures, e.g. to reducing the average fuel consumption of all cars sold by 25 % between 1990 and 2005.
May 1995: New paint shop opens at the Neckarsulm plant. Environmental protection features: use of pro-environmental water-soluble paints, closed water cycle, waste water is fully treated.
October 1995: The Neckarsulm plant is certified according to the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.
October 1996: At the Berlin Motor Show, Audi presents the third generation of the Audi duo, a hybrid car with two types of drive: the economical TDI diesel engine and the quiet electric motor with zero local emissions.
September 1997: Audi sparks the discussion about reducing fuel consumption when it presents its Al2 study at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
October 1997: The Ingolstadt plant receives the EU environmental audit certificate.
Early 1998: Opening of the new paint shop operating on the basis of water-soluble paints at the Ingolstadt plant, representing an investment volume of around DM 500 million.
January 1999: Audi opens a combined heat, power and refrigerating plant at Ingolstadt. The overall plant's high level of efficiency of around 80 % and its operation at full load for around 7,500 hours per year mean that, compared with a conventional energy generation plant, both consumption of natural gas and carbon dioxide emissions are cut by around 25 %.
1999: Certification of the Györ (Hungary) plant according to the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.
October 2000: Participation in the Environmental Pact for Bavaria II – sustainable resources management in the 21st century. Audi commits itself to numerous measures, e.g. developing direct-injection petrol engines with the potential to reduce fuel consumption by 10-15 % compared with conventional spark-ignition engines.
June 2001: Audi becomes the first manufacturer in the world to offer a five-door, three-litre car – the Audi A2 1.2 TDI.
2001: Audi is awarded German industry’s 21st award for innovation for the production technology of the aluminium body on the Audi A2.
An innovative cold test method for engines has been used at the Audi plant in Györ, Hungary, since 2003. As well as reducing emissions, this method cuts costs, speeds up the process and increases quality compared with the warm test.
After building several rain retention tanks it is possible to prepare large amounts of rainwater so that it can be used as process water. A total of 213,000 m3 of retained rainwater was used in 2004. This is equivalent to 15.9 % of the total process water consumption.
Since December 2003, the public utilities have supplied the Ingolstadt plant with district heating which is produced as waste heat at the city's refuse incineration plant. By obtaining 69,068 MWh of district heating a year, Audi helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 13,700 tonnes.
In April 2004, the Ingolstadt plant successfully passes the inspection audit in accordance with the EU Eco-Audit and Management Scheme EMAS II and is recertified according to DIN EN ISO 14.001.
In September 2004, the Neckarsulm plant is successfully revalidated in accordance with the EU Eco-Audit and Management Scheme EMAS II.
In September 2004, AUDI AG is nominated for the “2004 German Future Prize” for a new processing technique in engine production. The “UV laser exposure of cylinder barrels in combustion engines” reduces the oil consumption of engines by up to 75 % and the wear of the cylinder barrels and piston rings by as much as 90 %. This technique is already in production use at the Hungarian Audi plant in Györ where it is used on the 3.0 TDI engines that are installed in the Audi A4, Audi A6 and Audi A8.
A key to Audi’s success is the commitment and creativity of its employees, coupled with their will and ability to achieve success.
As at 31.12.2004, the Audi Group employed 53,089 persons worldwide (31.12.2003: 52,856). AUDI AG employed 44,972 (31.12.2003: 44,714) persons. 5,074 (5,014) persons worked at AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., Györ (Hungary), 721 (762) at Lamborghini and 774 (714) at Autogerma.
In 2004, of the 44,972 employees at AUDI AG, a total of 30,585 were blue-collar workers, 12,206 white-collar staff and 2,181 apprentices. The proportion of skilled workers in the industrial area was 69.1 %. 49.7 % of the white-collar staff have a university or technical college degree (as at: 31.12.2004).
In 2004, Audi trained a total of 2,181 young people (as at: 31.12.2004). 2,011 completed an industrial apprenticeship and 170 a technical/business training programme.
The company launched the “Initiative for More Training” in cooperation with the works council.
682 young people, including 164 young women, started an apprenticeship at Audi in September 2004. This compares with 482 four years before.
Women accounted for 11.7 % of the total workforce of AUDI AG in 2004 (2003: 11.4 %).
Since 1 January 2002, the Audi brand group has comprised the Audi, SEAT and Lamborghini brands. Under the overall supervision of the Volkswagen Group, Audi manages the business of this group and is also responsible for its worldwide results. Each brand within this group retains its own character, and operates independently on the market.
The Audi Group includes the parent company AUDI AG, Ingolstadt, as well as the following consolidated subsidiaries:
From July 2000, Winterkorn was Member of the VW Group Board of Management for Technical Development. Since 1 March 2002, Dr. Martin Winterkorn has been Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG and has been in charge of the Audi brand group, which also includes the brands SEAT and Lamborghini, since it was set up on 1 January 2002. In addition, Dr. Martin Winterkorn assumed responsibility for the Technical Development Division of AUDI AG with effect from 1 January 2003. In his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Winterkorn remains Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.
Dr. Jochem Heizmann
Dr. Jochem Heizmann has been Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG with responsibility for Production since February 2001.
Dr. Horst Neumann
Dr. Horst Neumann has been Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, responsible for Human Resources, since July 2002.
Dr. h.c. Andreas Schleef
Dr. h.c. Andreas Schleef joined the Board of Management of AUDI AG in 1985, with responsibility for Human Resources. Schleef has been Chairman of the Board of Management of SEAT S.A. since 7 March 2002. In this capacity he remains Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
Erich Schmitt became Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG with responsibility for Purchasing, Finance and Organisation in November 1992. Since June 1997 he has been responsible for Purchasing on the Board of Management of AUDI AG and for activities in China.
Rupert Stadler became Member of the Board of Manage-ment of AUDI AG without portfolio on 1 January 2003.
He has been responsible for Finance and Organisation since 1 April 2003.
Ralph Weyler has been Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG with responsibility for Marketing and Sales since October 2003.
August Horch establishes A. Horch & Cie Motorwagenwerke in Cologne.
The first Horch car appears on the road.
August Horch moves his firm to Zwickau in Saxony and converts it to a share-issuing company.
Following a disagreement with the supervisory board, August Horch leaves Horch Motorwagenwerke AG and founds a second company in Zwickau. He chooses the Latin translation of his name Horch (“hark”): Audi.
The name Audi Automobilwerke GmbH is entered in the Commercial Register of the city of Zwickau
The Saxon companies Audi, DKW and Horch and the automotive department of Wanderer Werke merge to form Auto Union AG, Chemnitz. The company chooses four interlinked rings as its logo.
Auto Union supplies one in four cars registered in Germany.
Auto Union AG in Saxony is dispossessed by the Soviet occupying forces, the factories are dismantled.
A central depot for Auto Union parts is set up in Ingolstadt.
Auto Union AG is deleted from the Commercial Register of the city of Chemnitz.
The newly founded Auto Union GmbH is entered in the Commercial Register of the city of Ingolstadt. Production of the DKW RT 125 W motorcycle and the DKW F 89 L rapid delivery van commences in former garrison buildings.
The Auto Union plant in Düsseldorf starts production. The DKW passenger cars of the post-war period are built here.
Auto Union GmbH is gradually acquired by Daimler-Benz AG.
A new plant goes into operation in Ingolstadt. This is the first construction stage of the current Audi plant.
The Düsseldorf plant is taken over by Daimler-Benz. Auto Union production is concentrated in Ingolstadt until the middle of 1962.
Auto Union GmbH’s capital is doubled to DM 160 million; Volkswagen AG takes over the extended capital.
Auto Union GmbH presents a new model with four-stroke engine. Its name: Audi.
This marks the end of the DKW two-stroke era.
Auto Union GmbH becomes a fully owned subsidiary of Volkswagenwerk AG.
The last DKW passenger car leaves the production line.
Auto Union GmbH merges with NSU Motorenwerke AG (founded 1873; factory built in Neckarsulm in 1880) to form Audi NSU Auto Union AG.
“Vorsprung durch Technik” becomes the company’s slogan.
The history of NSU products comes to an end with the last NSU Ro 80.
Audi NSU Auto Union AG is renamed AUDI AG.
With the inauguration of the Audi Centre in Ingolstadt, an important step is taken in the direction of greater customer orientation.
AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. is founded in Györ (Hungary) as a fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG. Official inauguration of the plant on 12 October 1994.
11 July: Signing of the agreement on the takeover of Cosworth (Great Britain);
24 July: Signing of the agreement on the takeover of Lamborghini.
15 December: Official inauguration of the new Audi Forum Ingolstadt. With a combination of a museum, factory tours, direct vehicle collection arrangements, restaurants and tourism services, Audi adds a new facet to the brand experience – for customers, visitors and employees alike – in architecturally attractive surroundings.
Audi establishes the fully owned subsidiary “Audi Electronics Venture GmbH”. Its objective is to develop innovative key technologies in the field of electronics.
Audi takes charge of the sporty brand group within the Volkswagen Group. The Audi brand group comprises the brands SEAT, Lamborghini and Audi.
August Horch is the first to use a cardan shaft for power transmission.
Audi becomes the first manufacturer in Germany to introduce left-hand drive and central gear change as standard.
Horch becomes the first German car manufacturer to put an eight-cylinder car on the market.
The world’s first volume-built car with front-wheel drive is introduced: the DKW Front (F1).
With the Audi Front, Auto Union AG extends it range of cars with front-wheel drive to the midsize class.
Presentation of the Auto Union Grand Prix racing car with 16-cylinder supercharged engine and mid-engine concept.
Development of a DKW Front with plastic body.
Auto Union sets a new world speed record with its 16-cylinder Streamliner racing car.
Streamlined bodies are the dominant feature of the Horch 930 S and DKW F 9.
The DKW rapid delivery van with front-wheel drive and pioneering forward-control design is the first car to leave the factory of the newly founded company Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt.
The DKW 3=6 Sonderklasse with three-cylinder two-stroke engine, front-wheel drive and streamlined body appears on the market.
The birth of the NSU rotary-piston engine.
The NSU Spider is the first car worldwide to appear on the market with a Wankel engine.
The Audi 80 is the first car with self-stabilising steering roll radius.
Audi quattro: the first production car with permanent four-wheel drive is presented in Geneva.
The third generation of the Audi 100, the most aerodynamic production saloon in the world, goes down in the annals of technology history as having the world’s best drag coefficient.
Audi becomes the first volume manufacturer of fully galvanised bodies.
Audi launches the first direct-injection diesel engine for a passenger car: the 2.5-litre TDI.
Audi presents the Audi duo, a hybrid model based on the Audi 100 Avant.
The Audi Avus quattro, a breathtaking design study with W12 mid-engine and polished aluminium body, is presented at the Tokyo Motor Show.
The Audi 80 TDI sets the world record for economy driving with Gerhard Plattner at the wheel.
Audi takes a quantum leap in automotive engineering with the market launch of the Audi A8 with its revolutionary aluminium Audi Space Frame ASF.
Audi sparks the discussion about reducing fuel consumption with its Al2 study.
The Audi A2, the first volume-built car with an aluminium body, is presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Audi also presents its continuously variable automatic transmission known as multitronic.
The first eight-cylinder TDI for the Audi A8 is launched.
Press presentation of the new A2 1.2 TDI, the world’s first five-door, three-litre car (consumption of three litres of fuel per 100 km).
Press presentation of the A8 L 6.0 with 12-cylinder engine.
Lightweight aluminium design in the luxury class is celebrated in February with the 100,000th Audi A8.
Introduction of the new FSI (petrol direct injection) engines for the A2 and A4. Launch of the new A8 with ASF body, quattro drive, adaptive air suspension and MMI (Multi Media Interface).
Presentation of the Audi TT 3.2 quattro with new automatic sports gearbox (DSG).
The Audi A8 6.0, the new generation of the Audi A6 and of the Audi A4, and the new Audi A3 Sportback are the most important new models to be launched in 2004.
As well as the A6 Avant and the RS 4, the Q7, a crossover vehicle for sophisticated demands, is presented to the public, the highlight of the anniversary year that marks “25 years of quattro”.