quattro GmbH has its head offices in Neckarsulm. A fully-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG, it was established in 1983. quattro GmbH became a vehicle manufacturer in its own right in 1996, and successfully entered the segment of high-performance vehicles in 1999 with its first own model, the Audi RS 4. It has around 230 employees, of whom 100 work in production and logistics. Its administration, development and production activities are based in Neckarsulm, whereas sales and marketing operations are controlled from Ingolstadt. quattro GmbH generated revenue of EUR 99 million in 2001.
The activities of quattro GmbH are not limited to the production of independent high-performance vehicles such as the RS 6. Other important areas of business include customisation (under the "Audi exclusive" label), supplying sports packages such as the current S line versions of the A2, A3, A4, A6 and TT, tuned vehicles, exclusive accessories and an extensive range of lifestyle articles.
Occupying a total of around 10,700 square metres of floor space, including 3,500 square metres for RS production, quattro GmbH is able to respond swiftly and flexibly to the dictates of the market and to specific customer requests. It is moreover capable of assembling various different vehicle models in parallel.
For production of the RS 6, quattro GmbH is supplied with partly assembled basic vehicles from the S6 production line. The final assembly and quality assurance processes can handle up to 20 vehicles per day in two shifts (with scope for stepping up output to around 35 vehicles a day if a third shift is worked). Saloon and Avant versions of the Audi RS 6 are available.
Environmental protection at Neckarsulm
As a company with operations worldwide, it is the objective of AUDI AG to uphold individual mobility. The group bears responsibility for the ongoing improvement of the environmental compatibility of its products and production plants, and for demonstrating an environmentally responsible approach towards natural resources; bearing this in mind, advanced technologies are deployed on the basis of their combined ecological and economic impact. AUDI AG makes these technologies available worldwide and enables their implementation along the entire process chain.
The significance of this specifically for the Neckarsulm plant is that it became the first premium-segment German plant to submit itself voluntarily for accreditation as part of the EU Eco-Audit and Management Scheme in 1995. The plant was accredited for the third time on this basis in September 2001. This was followed by VDA 6.1 certification in 1999. Water-soluble fillers and basecoats, as well as low-solvent two-pack clear coats, have been in use at the paint shop since 1995, thus cutting solvent emissions by around half. The paint shop moreover no longer discharges any waste water from the production process into the sewerage system.
In 2000, Audi developed a method of recovering and recycling material lost during the spray-painting process. Less material is now used, and toxic waste is avoided.
In the press shop, too, all metal trimmings which occur when steel panels are being cut are reprocessed. Unused raw materials are compressed using baling presses and returned to the steel works for reprocessing.
To optimise a car's operating phase from an ecological viewpoint after it has left the plant, Audi treats innovative materials and technologies as a priority. Lightweight design techniques using materials such as aluminium, magnesium and plastic significantly reduce the vehicle's weight, thus cutting its fuel consumption and emissions. This is particularly true of out-and-out lightweight designs based on the ASF principle, but also of composite-design Audi models.
Page: