July 7, 2003
Moving up a gear in its jubilee year: the Toolmaking Division of AUDI AG is celebrating ten years of operations. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Dr. Jochem Heizmann, AUDI AG Board Member for Production, and Xaver Meier, Chairman of the General Works Council, delivered the speeches at an event held to mark the occasion. Head of Division Hubert Waltl greeted around 100 guests from the spheres of politics, business and training to the 10th birthday celebrations.
“We’re more successful than ever,” commented production chief Heizmann. “Over the past 10 years, we have invested around 95 million euros in Audi Toolmaking. This line of activity generated revenue of around 202 million euros last year, and this year we will again be adding to our capacity. For example, we have recruited 50 new employees at Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm since the start of this year. And we will be broadening our portfolio of toolmaking activities in establishing ‘Audi Tooling Barcelona’ in Spain.”
The Toolmaking Division builds extrusion dies weighing up to 48 tonnes for sheet-metal components. “This is where the groundwork is performed for the quality that has helped the Audi brand move up in the world in recent years,” acknowledged Dr. Martin Winterkorn, explaining the importance of the toolmaking activities. Winterkorn also spotlighted the immense innovative capacity of toolmaking.
The Toolmaking Division of AUDI AG is considered a pioneer of various techniques within the automotive industry, including aluminium forming technology. Patents have been filed for a great many of its own developments, such as roller-type hemming technology. Audi has thus been able to position itself as a top technology supplier within the automotive industry – and even as the world market leader for aluminium technology. The VW Group designated Audi Toolmaking a “Centre of Excellence” (CoE) in November 1996.
Audi Toolmaking plays a supporting role in all group activities in this area worldwide, and makes its expertise available to others. Its clients also include numerous external automotive companies. The Toolmaking Division operates as an autonomous company under the AUDI AG umbrella, and is a results and deadline-driven organisation. Dr. Jochem Heizmann continued: “Over the past ten years, Audi Toolmaking has evolved into one of the most modern, creative tooling manufacturers in the world. This division of the company will continue to be of immense strategic importance to the Audi brand group and the group as a whole.”
The Toolmaking Division currently employs around 1,150 people: some 780 at Ingolstadt and 370 at Neckarsulm. “The high standard of the technical facilities and the expertise of the workforce make our toolmaking operations the market leader for tools. The division is one of the most advanced and versatile areas in the entire group. The benefits for the employees include the technically challenging work and job security,” added Xaver Meier, Chairman of the General Works Council.
Countless investment measures at both German sites have helped the toolmaking organisation to carve out a vital competitive edge over the past ten years. In 2000 one of the most advanced toolmaking shops in the world, housing a production area of 27,000 square metres, went into operation at Ingolstadt at a cost of 60 million euros.