Massive investments from traditional automakers into future mobility tech is getting a major impetus today. Auto Union Der Inglostadt, popularly known as Audi(the Germany luxury automaker under VW Group), will invest 14 billion euros ($15.95 billion) over the next five years on future transportation technologies such as electric mobility, autonomous driving and digital services. The company released this information on Tuesday, December 4th 2018.
These investments that are to be made till 2023 will include expenditures on property, factories, equipment as well as research and development. Audi has projected a total expenditure of up to €40 billion ($45.6 billion equivalent) in these coming 5 years as part of their 5 year plans.
Bram Schot, temporary chairman of the Board of Management of Audi stated
This planning round bears a clear signature: We are taking a very systematic approach to electric mobility and will be much more focused in future. We are consistently prioritizing our resources for future-oriented products and services that are highly attractive and relevant to the market.
This announcement is at par with the company’s previously stated plans to develop electric vehicles. It shows the company’s determination towards the electric vehicle market. In fact, it is completely in sync with a statement issued back in 2015 by the then president of Audi America Scott Keogh which said that by 2025, at least one quarter of all Audi cars sold in the U.S. will have a plug.
The company unveiled in September, its first all electric SUV called the E-tron and plans to add 20 electrified models by 2025. 10 of these models would be based on all electric drive systems with the rest being hybrids. More recently, Audi also partnered with Airbus to launch a demonstration ‘flying taxi’ as well.
The automaker is also investing in digital services such as “on demand” functions. At the same time, Audi is pushing forward with the digitalization of its automobiles and plants, and is expanding its business model with new digital services such as “functions on demand.”
After the failed attempts by startups like Lucid Air and Faraday Future, it was quite clear that automotive behemoths like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, jaguar, etc. only could prove to be true Tesla replacements owing to their manufacturing expertise and production capabilities. Audi’s announcement about their end goal is most probably going to act as the much needed shaft to connect the masses with electric vehicles.