Audi AG

Annual Press Conference of AUDI AG
2000: best year in company history

Annual Press Conference of AUDI AG / 2000: best year in company history

    - Cross-reference: photos were sent via satellite and are
        available at:
        http://recherche.newsaktuell.de/galerie.htx?type=obs

    Munich/Ingolstadt
    
    * 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.
    
    *) Provisional figures for the first quarter of 2001 compared with
the first quarter of 2000
    
    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.
    
    Notes to editorial staff:
    
    * Photos of Audi A4 and Audi A2 production are available through
obs (dpa).
    * Texts and pictures in the press folder can be called up at
         http://www.audi-press.com; password from Tel. ++49 (0) 841 89
36189.
    * Annual Report at http://www.audi.com/java/facts
    * For Betacam footage on the press conference call
        Tel. ++49 (0) 172 8998582
    
ots Originaltext: AUDI AG
Internet: http://recherche.newsaktuell.de

Communication: Corporate and Finance
Joachim Cordshagen,
Tel: ++49 (0) 841 89 36340 or ++49 (0) 172 910 44 68
e-mail: joachim.cordshagen@audi.de

Jürgen De Graeve,
Tel: ++49 (0) 841 89 34084 or ++49 (0) 172 914 29 08
e-mail: juergen.degraeve@audi.de

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