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1999: Audi Group further consolidates its strong position
Ingolstadt (ots) -
* Record sales revenues and vehicle sales * Highest production and largest workforce to date * High investments ensure competitiveness
"In 1999 we were able to consolidate our strong position further and to continue the success of previous years," declared Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG in an initial review of the past financial year. Audi set a new record for worldwide vehicle sales and was able to increase sales revenues again substantially. The company's capital investments remained at a high level.
The Audi Group delivered 634,973 vehicles to customers worldwide, generating sales revenues of more than DM 29 billion (1998: DM 27.2 billion). This is an increase of 5.9 percent on the previous year. Capital investments totalled around DM 3 billion, approximately matching the previous year's high level (1998: DM 3.168 billion). According to Paefgen, Audi has not only clearly exceeded the record mark of 600,000 cars, it has also proved that persistently high investment in new, attractive and innovative products enables the company to increase and sustain its competitiveness. This year and over the next four years, Audi is to invest a total of more than DM 16 billion in production facilities, infrastructure and, in particular, in the rejuvenation and expansion of its product range. According to Paefgen: "This record investment volume will allow us to tap new profit-making potential in the long term."
Audi was particularly successful in the USA where it sold 65,959 vehicles (up 38.8 percent). 257,642 units (up 5.5 percent) were sold in Germany. This gave the company a market share in Germany of 6.8 percent in 1999 (6.5 percent in the previous year). 261,499 Audis were sold in Western Europe (not including Germany) (up 1.8 percent). Vehicle sales in Japan dropped 27.2 percent to 6,429 units, partly as a result of the nation's general economic situation. 43,179 vehicles (up 2.2 percent) were delivered to customers in other markets. This figure includes 6,911 vehicles sold in China (down 8.8 percent). A significant increase in demand is expected this year following the market launch of the Audi A6, which has been modified for the Chinese market and is produced in China.
Vehicle sales by Audi's subsidiary Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A developed positively. 265 Diablo models were sold worldwide in 1999, an increase of 24.4 percent. Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. and its subsidiaries were included in the financial statements of the Audi Group for the first time in 1999.
Vehicle production in the Audi Group rose in 1999 by 1.1 percent to 626,059 units, including 252 Lamborghini Diablo models. The model with the highest volume was the Audi A4 which accounted for 248,428 units, followed by the Audi A6 with 161,037, the Audi A3 with 143,333, the Audi TT with 52,579 and the Audi A8 with 14,636 units. The number of engines manufactured by Audi in Györ (Hungary) and Ingolstadt went up by 1.9 percent to 1,265,465 units. Cosworth Technology Limited was also consolidated as a new subsidiary for the first time in 1999.
The number of employees - including Lamborghini and Cosworth Technology for the first time - had increased worldwide by the end of the year by 4,186 to 46,558 (up 9.9 percent) in the Audi Group and by 2,193 to 41,140 employees (up 5.6 percent) at Audi AG (German sites). Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. employed 4,312, the Lamborghini Group 380 and Cosworth Technology Limited 711 people. The Audi Group thus had more employees than ever before in the company's history.
"The development of Audi in 2000 depends on the development of markets in Europe. There are currently indications in some countries that demand is starting to settle down," said the Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen. "We will confront this development with the further rejuvenation and expansion of our product range." The second quarter will see the launch of the Audi A2, for example, the first volume-production car with aluminium body. However, the primary goal is not short-term profit maximisation, but to reinforce the company's competitive position on a long-term basis.
Notes to editorial staff: * Two photos from A2 production are also available through "obs (dpa)". * AUDI AG will hold its Annual Press Conference on 21 March in Munich.
ots Originaltext: Audi AG