German automaker Audi announced its future investment program that will lead to the company's hiring of nearly 1,200 skilled employees next year and the doling out of approximately 11.6 billion euros ($15.3 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) between 2011 and 2015. The outlay of cash will be used primarily to fund "developing new products and technologies of the future such as electric and hybrid drive systems." To name one example: Audi will set aside a portion of the funds to develop and launch its R8 e-tron, which it aims to sell by late 2012.

Thomas Sigi, a member of the Audi AG board of management, discussed the focus of the automaker's investment program:
Innovation requires people. For this reason, we want to hire around 1,200 experts in 2011 who will primarily bolster our electromobility and lightweight-construction fields of competence.
Audi claims that its $15.3 billion in expenditures from 2011 to 2015 represents the most extensive investment in the automaker's history.

[Source: Audi]


PRESS RELEASE

Audi's plans for 2011 include 1,200 new jobs and the launch of the biggest investment program in company history


* Company primarily seeking specialists in career fields of the future
* Board Member for Human Resources Thomas Sigi: "Innovation requires people"
* Audi plans to invest about € 11.6 billion in fixed assets by 2015

Audi is investing heavily in its future and intends to hire about 1,200 skilled employees in 2011. The company plans to invest around € 11.6 billion between 2011 and 2015, primarily in new products and technologies, as well as in upgrading its sites. More than € 5 billion is earmarked for the German sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

"Innovation requires people," said Thomas Sigi, Member of the AUDI AG Board of Management for Human Resources. "For this reason, we want to hire around 1,200 experts in 2011 who will primarily bolster our electromobility and lightweight construction fields of competence, as well as the implementation of our growth strategy." During 2010 Audi recruited about 500 experts and 780 trainees who began their vocational training in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

From 2011 to 2015 the company plans to invest about € 11.6 billion in fixed assets, making this the biggest investment program in the company's history. "With this investment, we are laying the foundation for sustained, profitable growth, and supporting our claim to leadership in the premium car segment," said Axel Strotbek, Board Member for Finance and Organization of AUDI AG.

About 80 percent of all investment – more than € 9.5 billion – will go to developing new products and to technologies of the future such as electric and hybrid drive systems. One example is the Audi R8 e-tron, the first electric sports car from Audi, which the company wants to begin selling in late 2012.

The brand with the logo of the four rings will introduce numerous new models in 2011, including the new Audi A6 and the Audi Q5 Hybrid, the first full hybrid from the carmaker. In launching the new Audi Q3, which is manufactured in Martorell, Spain, Audi is occupying the midsize premium SUV segment for the first time.

The foundation for the future is also being laid at the company's German sites: more than € 5 billion is to be invested in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm between 2011 and 2015. "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.