Audi AG

Audi maintains success record

    Munich/Ingolstadt (ots) -

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    * Further growth in the first nine months     * Target for year: unit sales beyond 650,000 for first time     * Optimistic forecast also for 2001     * New Audi A4 to boost unit sales and sales revenues

    "Audi has enjoyed exceptional growth in its sales volume, unit sales and earnings," declared Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, today in Munich. "For 2000 as a whole, we are expecting vehicle sales worldwide to exceed 650,000 for the first time ever, with sales revenues passing the DM 30 billion level," continued Paefgen. "On balance, 2000 will be yet another successful year."

    By the end of September, worldwide vehicle sales by the Audi Group had risen to a total of 492,961 cars (January to September 1999: 483,099). This represents an increase of 2.0 percent on the corresponding prior-year period. Production output for the first nine months of the year totalled 477,153 (471,356) cars (up 1.2 percent) and 892,552 (943,932) engines (down 5.4 percent).

    In Germany, 176,868 (198,568) Audi cars were handed over to their new owners (down 10.9 percent). This drop is due to the contraction in the car market as a whole in Germany, and the model change in the A4 car line. In Western Europe (excluding Germany), 201,727 (202,098) Audi cars were delivered to their new owners (decrease of 0.2 percent). Audi's largest European export market is Great Britain, where it sold 34,706 cars (increase of 5.1 percent) in the period in question.

    The market share in Germany in the first nine months of the year is anticipated to reach 6.7 percent (6.8 percent).

    In the USA, unit sales rose sharply by 28.9 percent to 60,276 (46,746) cars. In Japan, 5,315 (4,586) cars were delivered to customers. This represents a rise of 15.9 percent on the period between January and September 1999.

    In the rest of the world, vehicle sales for the first nine months of the year rose from 30,898 to 48,567 units (up 57.2 percent). China was the largest single market within this category, with over 13,000 Audi vehicles sold there. Paefgen explained: "Sales of the new locally-built Chinese version of the Audi A6 have easily surpassed our expectations, as a result of which we have more than doubled the prior-year sales total."

    The sales revenues of the Audi Group rose by around 6.7 percent in the first nine months, to a total of DM 23.2 (21.8) billion. "This increase," continued the Chairman of the Board, "is attributable to a combination of the higher sales volume and the steady improvement in the product mix."

    Capital investments in the first nine months of the year rose year-on-year by a further 7.4 percent, to DM 2.1 (1.9) billion, with the development of new products accounting for two-thirds of this sum.

    A total of 2,750 new jobs have been created within the Audi Group over the past twelve months (based on the figures as at September 30), of which 2,364 are in Germany (Ingolstadt: 1,418, Neckarsulm: 946) and 256 in Hungary. On September 30, the Audi Group had a total of 49,378 (46,628) employees (up 5.9 percent).

    "With the exception of Germany, car markets worldwide are making consistently good progress. However, in view of conflicting economic forecasts it is not yet possible to say how the situation will develop throughout the coming year," added Dr. Paefgen. Audi's Board Chairman nevertheless emphasized that the company anticipates a further increase in unit sales and sales revenues in 2001, among other things thanks to the appearance of the new A4.

ots Originaltext: Audi AG

Communication: Corporate and Finance
Joachim Cordshagen, telephone +49 841 89 36340 and +49 172 9104468
Jürgen De Graeve, telephone +49 841 89 34084 and +49 172 9142908

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