March 15, 2001

Positive Trend for Audi Suggestions Scheme

Ingolstadt -- Audi employees are inventive: the number of suggestions submitted in the course of 2000 reached a record figure of 57,225 (1999: 53,795). 18,008 employees participated in the Audi suggestions scheme last year (1999: 17,459) and almost 47 percent of the ideas selected were put into practice. The company was thus able to make savings totalling around DM 33.8 million. The bonus payments made to employees in recognition of their inventiveness amounted to more than eight million marks.

"Ideas for a battery of minor measures help to improve our processes and products just as much as a single brilliant stroke of genius", remarks Thomas Neuhaus, Head of the Audi Ideas Scheme. The following is a typical example: the special socket wrenches used at the assembly lines in Ingolstadt to tighten the wheel rims had to be replaced after a time because the plastic sleeve that protects the rims against scratching tended to wear. The manufacturer could only supply complete socket wrenches. One worker suggested replacing the damaged sleeves with similar plastic parts from a different manufacturer. This measure saves Audi over DM 4,400 a year.

"We are convinced that the creativity of our employees contributes significantly towards bringing about a steady improvement in our working processes and products, which in addition safeguards jobs at Audi", comments Georg Hertrich, Works Council Spokesman for the assessment panel.

Audi is an international developer and manufacturer of high-quality cars. The company maintains production sites in Germany, Hungary, Brazil, China and South Africa. The company sold 650,000 cars in 2000, more than ever before. Sales totalled DM 39 billion (including Autogerma in Italy). The Audi Group currently has around 50,000 employees.

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