Audi stepping up the pace again in 2012: 1,200 new jobs and new investment program
Thomas Sigi, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at AUDI AG, declared: “We are aiming to achieve strong growth on an international scale and boost our lightweight construction and electric mobility areas of expertise in particular. That is why we will be hiring even more people and are planning to appoint a further 1,200 experts next year.” More people than ever before – a total of 3,500 – joined Audi in 2011. Audi had been planning to recruit 1,200 experts for its German locations but actually gave jobs to over 1,300 in Germany. Audi also gave permanent contracts to more than 400 temporary workers. And once again, over 700 apprentices commenced vocational training at Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. The workforce was also increased at the international locations: over 1,400 new employees started work at Györ in 2011, and 270 at Brussels.
To cover its need for skilled employees over the next few years, the Company and the employees’ elected representatives have agreed to offer permanent employment contracts to apprentices, students from vocational training academies and participants of the StEP program (Study and Experience in Practice) after they complete their courses. Meanwhile Audi is developing an all-encompassing program for the promotion and development of its own junior employees over and above their narrower vocational training. “We enable our apprentices to gain experience abroad very early on, for example,” explained Sigi.
The Audi Group is planning to invest 13.0 billion in property, plant and equipment from 2012 through 2016, making this the biggest investment program in the Company’s history. “To maintain our profitable growth, we will step up investment spending on new products,” said Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG. “The Audi Group plans to invest over 2 billion annually in new products and technologies.” In total, more than 10.5 billion is to be spent on the development of new models and on technologies of the future such as electric or hybrid drive.
The carmaker will also continue to invest substantial amounts in its factories. For example, a body shop, paint shop and press shop are to be added to the existing engine line and vehicle assembly line at the Győr plant by 2013. The investment program focuses primarily on the German locations. “From 2012 through 2016 we are planning to invest almost 8 billion in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, because these domestic sites and their employees are the foundation on which our international success story is based,” emphasized Strotbek.
Next year, Audi is bringing various thrilling new models onto the market: The thoroughly efficient A8 hybrid takes to the road in 2012. It will be one of the lightest sedan models in its category and be able to drive up to three kilometers at a constant 60 km/h in purely electric mode. The brand will also be unveiling the new A3. The new A3 generation will redefine the benchmark for connectivity between a car and its environment, for example. In addition, Audi has some new sporty highlights in store. As well as the S6, S7 and S8 already showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show and the A6 allroad quattro, at the end of 2012 Audi will become the first premium manufacturer to bring an all-electric sports car onto the market in a small series – the Audi R8 e-tron.