Sustainability and performance – why Audi plays with both feet
Combustion engines and the high-performance segment on the one hand, electric drive and the e-tron on the other. Anton Poll, Head of Investor Relations, explains why Audi is pursuing both – and what that has to do with returns.
Talking Business – Key Facts
- With its “Consistently Audi” strategy , Audi is transforming itself from a car manufacturer into a mobility provider. The aim is to unleash the beauty of sustainable mobility.
- By 2025, electric cars will account for approximately 40 percent of global Audi sales.
- The electric mobility business model involves risks, but offers significantly more opportunities. Fully electric fleets are a must when it comes to reducing CO₂ emissions.
- During the current transitional period, a mature business model can provide financial support for the new business model. And the overall package is what counts – the product portfolio needs to be just right. This is why Audi is currently pursuing the dual strategy of both internal combustion technology and electric mobility.
Audi’s game plan for the premium league
September 2 was “deadline day” in professional soccer: Spectacular transfers took place once again in 2019, but not every deal came off. Players who can use both feet with equal ease, such as Neymar, Ivan Perišić or Christian Eriksen, are particularly in demand. These are players with very high market values, absolute key players, who have the right answer to almost any situation on the soccer field. World class, in other words.
And what is true in sports is frequently true in the auto industry, too. This became clear to me again last week in the midst of a working session when we discussed the business model and strategic direction of Audi.
Electric mobility: significantly more opportunities than risks
Audi wants to “unleash the beauty of sustainable mobility” for customers. And remain “consistently profitable” in the process. To keep both these promises, Audi will – metaphorically – need to play with both feet, just like Perišić, Neymar & co. The question is not whether Audi will pursue electric mobility, because there is no turning back now. Demand is shifting very strongly to electric drives – even though this is occurring at different speeds in different regions of the world. By 2025, electric cars like the e-tron will account for approximately 40 percent of global Audi sales. This is why it makes sense that the Audi portfolio for 2025 already features more than 30 models with electric drive, including 20 fully electric cars. The electric mobility business model involves risks, but offers significantly more opportunities. Fully electric fleets are a must when it comes to reducing CO₂ emissions.
Audi launches the next stage for high-performance models
At the same time, many of our Audi customers expect outstanding performance in addition to exciting design – and we have lots of long-distance drivers. This is why Audi is also going full throttle in the high-performance segment, for example: By the end of 2020, the company will present a total of 13 new
RS/R models, and wants to double its sales by 2023 in the high-performance segment. Here, the sales figures and returns add up. And with the Audi e-tron GT, which is being presented in 2020, we are showing how highly emotional electric mobility can be.
The Audi strategy combines performance and sustainability
World-class automobile manufacturers command both games: performance and sustainability. During the current transitional period, a mature business model can provide financial support for the new business model. And the overall package is what counts. The product portfolio needs to be just right – to achieve the perfect blend of returns and CO2 footprint. This is why we are currently pursuing the dual strategy of both internal combustion technology and electric mobility. We have to continue to “play with both feet” so that we can go on finishing the game successfully. But it is also clear that the second half of the game in the automobile premium league will be played under the flag of electric mobility and fuel cells.
Since 2015, Anton Poll has headed “Financial Communication, Analytics and Investor Relations” at Audi. Prior to that, Poll, who has a degree in business administration and is a qualified tax consultant, was responsible for other areas such as Corporate Risk Management. His team uses “Talking Business” regularly to publish current and background information on the business model Automobile and Mobility. Strategic. Substantiated. Compact.