March 20, 2001

Annual Press Conference of AUDI AG 2000: Best Year in Company History

  • More than 650,000 Audi models sold
  • Positive expectation for 2001 / success of the new Audi A4
  • Paefgen: a strong brand with attractive products

    "An extremely eventful year for Audi and the most successful in company history." This is how Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, assessed the financial year 2000 at today's Annual Press Conference in Munich.

    Paefgen referred to the Audi brand's record vehicle sales, sales revenues and production figures. Thanks to pioneering vehicle concepts such as aluminium lightweight design, quattro drive and TDI technology, Audi's market position is now stronger than ever before. With a model range extending from the three-litre A2 to the A8 with twelve-cylinder engine, Audi is represented in every significant vehicle segment. As Paefgen explained, there are no plans to extend the range further; the company is more interested in adding further derivatives to complete its model family.

    Sales revenues generated by the expanded Audi Group (including the Italian general importer for cars in the Volkswagen Group, AUTOGERMA S.p.A.) in 2000 reached DM 39.0 billion. Without Autogerma, sales were up 8.3 percent on the previous year to DM 32.1 billion. Results from ordinary business activities (before taxes) amounted to DM 1.856 billion (previous year's figure: 1.640 billion), but were diminished by DM 251 million in extraordinary expenses to cover provisions for the disposal of end-of-life vehicles. The Audi Group's earnings before taxes consequently totalled DM 1.605 billion. Net earnings improved by 35.5 percent to DM 859 million.

    Capital investments in the year 2000, including the acquisition of AUTOGERMA S.p.A., totalled around DM 4 billion, the highest level to date. "With an investment ratio of around 8 percent, we are still amongst the industry's leaders", explained Peter Abele, Board Member for Finance. The lion's share of capital investments was spent on new models. As Abele continued, Audi has drawn up an investment programme to the tune of DM 17 billion for the period 2001 to 2005.

    Record vehicle sales in 2000

    Vehicle sales in the Audi Group reached 919,621 in 2000 due to the first-time inclusion of the subsidiary Autogerma (306,941 vehicles of all brands belonging to the Volkswagen Group). The Audi brand increased its 1999 sales record by 2.9 percent to 653,404 vehicles. Audi sold 239,644 (257,642) vehicles in Germany; its market share increased to 6.9 percent. 269,024 Audi cars were sold in Europe excluding Germany, slightly more than in the previous year (268,824). The largest export market was the USA with sales of 80,372 cars (up 21.9 percent). In China, the biggest Asian market, Audi more than doubled its sales to 17,451 (6,911) vehicles. Lamborghini sold 296 cars last year (up 11.7 percent).

    Car production in 2000 increased by 4.0 percent to 650,850 units. 1,187,666 engines were produced, 6.3 percent fewer than in the previous year.

    The number of employees in the Audi Group as at 31 December 2000 rose to a total of 50,535 (up 8.5 percent compared with 31 December 1999). 43,862 employees were at AUDI AG (up 6.6 percent), 4,831 at AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. (up 12.0 percent), 764 at COSWORTH TECHNOLOGY LIMITED (up 7.5 percent), 440 at Lamborghini (up 15.8 percent) and 624 at AUTOGERMA S.p.A.

    Positive sales trend in the first quarter of 2001*

    Audi Group sales are expected to increase to around 245,500 vehicles by the end of the first quarter of 2001 (up 2.0 percent). Autogerma will sell a total of around 86,900 vehicles (up 0.7 percent), the Audi brand 169,900 (up 2.9 percent) and the Lamborghini brand 76 (up 4.1 percent). In Europe excluding Germany Audi sales will be roughly on a par with the previous year at around 71,400 vehicles, and reach approximately 61,800 (up 2.9 percent) in Germany. Audi's market share is expected to increase to 7.0 percent. The trend in the USA also continues to be positive with Audi expecting to have sold just under 19,400 vehicles by the end of the month (up 3.0 percent). The sales volume in China will almost double to around 6,200 units.

    Car production will increase in the first quarter of 2001 by 14.7 percent to around 189,100 units. Engine production will fall by 2.1 percent to an estimated 318,500 units.

    It is anticipated that the Audi Group will generate total sales revenues of DM 11.2 billion (up 11.6 percent). Capital investments will increase to around DM 870 million (up 19.0 percent).

    A total of 51,130 employees will be working in the Audi Group as at 31 March 2001 (up 6.5 percent compared with 31 March 2000). There will be 44,200 employees at AUDI AG (up 5.4 percent), 5,040 at AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. (up 16.6 percent), 780 at COSWORTH TECHNOLOGY LIMITED (up 9.2 percent), 470 at Lamborghini (up 18.7 percent) and 626 at AUTOGERMA S.p.A. (up 1.0 percent).

    Paefgen: quantitative and qualitative growth in 2001

    "In an economic climate that is characterised by fierce predatory competition and a rather weak automotive industry, two things are important for lasting success: a strong brand and future investments in attractive new products. In the current year we are counting above all on the success of our completely redesigned Audi A4 and also expect further quantitative and qualitative growth for Audi in 2001." This is the forecast of Audi Chairman Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen for the current year.

    Download the 2000 Annual Report from Audi.com.

    *Provisional figures for the first quarter of 2001 compared with the first quarter of 2000