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Middle East and Africa is third largest growth region for Audi Group

Audi's Rupert Stadler

There was good news for the employees as well, not just the Audi Group.

March 12, 2013 2:38 by

By Atique Naqvi, reporting from Ingolstadt, Germany:

Recession or no recession, the global luxury sector seems to have bucked the sluggish economic growth, and the trend is set to continue, whether it is for high-end watches, premium jewelry or premium and ultra-luxury passenger vehicles.

The German manufacturer of premium segment cars, Audi surpassed its targets for the year 2012 by selling 1.45 million automobiles worldwide, increasing its revenues to €48.8 billion, or Dh233bn, it said in its annual press conference today (Tuesday).

The Middle East and Africa was the third-largest growth market for Audi in 2012 at 16.4 per cent, behind Asia-Pacific (28.1 per cent) and North America
(18.5 per cent), said Rupert Stadler, the CEO of Audi AG.

Despite the significant effects of the debt crisis in some countries and a contracting overall market in Europe, the company posted record figures for production, shipments, revenue and earnings.

The Audi Group was also able to increase its operating profit to €5.4bn, which is a record result in the company’s history so far. In the full year, the operating return on sales of 11.0 percent was above the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.

China, Germany and the United States were the top three markets. In terms of sales, Audi sold 405,838 units in China last year, an increase of 29.6 per cent over 2011.

The firm sold 263,163 units in Germany (a jump of 3.6 per cent) in 2012, it sold 139,310 units in the United States (18.5 per cent). The automaker witnesses a huge jump of 44 per cent in terms of units sold (33,512) in Russia last year, as against 2011. The company aims to sell two million cars annually from 2015.

In 2013, the company intends to continue its growth and gain additional customers. In addition, the automobile manufacturer from Ingolstadt plans to recruit approximately 1,500 new employees in Germany alone, and will offer 700 young people an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Stadler said: “2012 was a very successful year for us. We surpassed our targets and added an attractive premium brand, Ducati, to our brand portfolio. We intend to continue our growth in 2013 and with two new plants this year, we will create the right conditions to reinforce our claim to leadership over the long term.”

For Axel Strotbek, Board of Management Member for Finance and Organization at Audi AG, the company’s high profitability reflects the success of the growth strategy. The CFO regards investing in the future as evidence of farsighted management: “We already initiated the biggest investment program in our history in 2011. We now plan total investment averaging more than €3.5bn each year until 2015, in order to effectively pursue our growth path.”

There was good news for the employees as well, not just the Audi Group. Employees at the German sites covered by collective pay agreements will receive an average profit share of €8,030, it was announced at the press conference.

In 2013, the car manufacturer will go ahead with the world premiere of the A3 Sedan, which will strengthen Audi’s position in strategically important markets such as the United States and China.

Audi has more sporty RS models in its product range this year than ever before. In addition to the RS 7 Sportback and the RS Q3, the RS 6 Avant and the RS 5 Cabriolet will also be launched throughout 2013.


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