With 538,103 cars built in 2017, the Ingolstadt parent plant is the Audi Group’s largest production facility and Europe’s second-largest car factory. Globally networked, Audi Ingolstadt is the company’s flagship plant in terms of its technological prowess. This is where the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5 and Audi Q2 car lines are built. A big draw for members of the public is the Audi Forum, which attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.
The Ingolstadt site is AUDI AG’s most important location. With the founding of Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt 67 years ago, a new chapter began for the carmaker formerly headquartered in Saxony. The company started out by producing spare parts, motorcycles and DKW vehicles in Ingolstadt’s former fortress. In 1985, Auto Union GmbH became AUDI AG, and the company and its products have borne the same name ever since.
The Technical Development division of AUDI AG has its headquarters in Ingolstadt. About 8,600 employees work in an area of approximately 33.5 hectares (83 acres) and approximately 1,700 more work in Neckarsulm. The Audi Group also has additional development centers in Győr, Beijing and San José Chiapa. Its tasks include the full spectrum of the product-creation process: from design and new vehicle concepts to the development of engines and transmissions and the electrification of the powertrains to vehicle concepts, electrical and electronic development and the development of car bodies and suspension. Interconnected and interdepartmental work with the latest working tools and instruments facilitate innovative solutions for upcoming challenges such as urbanization, digitalization and sustainable premium mobility. Other requirements placed on product development are also rising continually. True to the brand motto of “Vorsprung durch Technik,” Audi’s engineers and technicians are implementing a broad-based innovation initiative with substantial investment.
AUDI AG has one of the most flexible and efficient production systems in the automotive industry: The Audi Production System (APS) is based on the fundamental principles of cycle, flow, pull and perfection. Audi consistently applies these principles not only in production, but throughout the company. In this way, Audi achieves short throughput times in production, low inventories and high productivity. The focus here is on the continuous improvement process.
Logistics has gained further importance in recent years. The growing variety of models is increasing process complexity right along the value chain. Today, the Logistics department controls the entire supply-chain process, starting with order planning and through to delivery to the customer. Logistics is also involved in the process of product creation and plays an active and integrative role during the entire vehicle production phase. This ensures that product ramp-ups and market supply are punctual and flexible, with minimal throughput times and the smallest possible inventories. Logistics in Ingolstadt has initiated a pilot project, Truck Quick Check In, in order to keep up with constantly increasing flows of incoming goods. In the future, this system will control and prioritize the trucks delivering suppliers parts to the plant in the same way as an air-traffic control tower. This will not only increase efficiency. The project is an ideal example for the networking of production and shows that the subject of the smart factory is already firmly anchored in the logistics function.
Logistics processes for automotive manufacturers are becoming increasingly complex due to the enormous variety of model versions and the creation of worldwide networks for production and procurement. Suitable approaches are required to manage these processes. One such solution entails consolidating material flows in industrial parks. Systems and modules are assembled outside the carmaker’s factory gates and delivered to the assembly line just in sequence. This is the approach adopted by the Logistics Center at Audi’s Ingolstadt site.
Striving for perfection: Audi enjoys a worldwide reputation for the best workmanship, superior quality and reliability. With its headquarters at the Ingolstadt plant, Quality Assurance coordinates and oversees matters of quality at every Audi plant in the world. It is involved in the entire product process – from vehicle development through manufacturing to retail support. In the vehicle-development process, Quality Assurance is responsible for numerous monitoring and advisory functions.
Following the tests of Technical Development, Quality Assurance carries out the so-called safeguarding run. Under highly differing customer conditions and millions of kilometers, it is ensured that each component meets its specifications over the long term and proves its worth in practical use.
Balancing economics and ecology is a core aspect of Audi’s identity. The company takes a transparent approach to environmental protection at the company and gets every employee involved in the related activities. This ensures that Audi systematically meets its environmental goals. The Audi Production System (APS) has been used intensively for this purpose in recent years as a means of implementing the company’s environmental policy at all levels. By participating in the fourth Bavarian Environmental Pact, AUDI AG makes important contributions not only to sustainable development but also to environmental protection.
Along the way to sustainable mobility, it is essential that the environmental balance of an automobile’s entire lifecycle is optimized even before the first kilometer is driven. The company is therefore working hard to improve the carbon footprints of its manufacturing sites. AUDI AG has set itself the target of reducing its specific CO2 emissions by 25 percent by the year 2018 compared with emissions in 2010. With respect to energy supply at Audi’s German sites, there are plans to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 40 percent per reference unit by 2020. Audi is also pursuing its vision of manufacturing of all vehicles made in Ingolstadt completely CO2-neutral and free of waste water. The other sites will gradually follow.
Environmental protection also means using natural resources sparingly. For instance, it is important to reduce noise emissions, waste water and energy consumption.
Audi Forum Ingolstadt is the Audi experience world at the company’s largest site. The ensemble of buildings with stylish glass architecture grouped around a central piazza has impressed visitors since it opened in 2000. With an area of 77,000 square meters, each year it offers some 400,000 visitors various ways of getting to know the brand with the four rings.
Last year, over 73,000 customers decided to pick up their new Audi in the customer center at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt – more than ever before. This means that in 2016, about 25% of all the Audi cars sold in Germany was driven by its new owner for the first few meters over the piazza at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt.
The plant, in the heart of the German State of Bavaria, is not only AUDI AG’s biggest production facility, but also home to its head offices and Technical Development division. The site covers an area of more than 2,700,000 square metres – equivalent to more than 300 football pitches.
Ingolstadt, located on the River Danube, is the fifth-largest city in the State of Bavaria with a population of 133,000. Audi is the region’s biggest employer, with 43,952 employees (as at December 31, 2016).
|Area||2,737,500 square metres
|Employees||44,217 (as at: December 31, 2017)
|Models||Audi Q2, Audi A3, Audi A3 Sportback, Audi A3 Sportback e tron, Audi A3 Sportback g tron, Audi S3, Audi S3 Sportback, Audi RS 3 Sportback, Audi A4 Limousine, Audi A4 Avant, Audi S4 Limousine, Audi S4 Avant, Audi A4 allroad quattro, Audi A5 Sportback, Audi A5 Coupé, Audi S5 Sportback, Audi S5 Coupé, Audi RS 5 Coupé