After a challenging 2015 (to put it lightly), Audi says it is nevertheless committed to growth for 2016, including the launch of 20 new or revised models worldwide.
This ambitious rollout is designed to push the brand beyond the record sales the Ingolstadt brand achieved last year, despite its obvious challenges in dealing with the diesel emissions scandal.
Audi's coming product offensive comprises vehicles such as the just-released Q2 crossover, with which Audi is focused on conquering a new market segment, new buyers and adding to the success of the Q SUV family.
“We successfully mastered a year of challenges,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler claimed. “We will now invest in 2016 alone, more than three billion Euros for the mobility of tomorrow, and we will push forward with the electrification and digitisation of our products.”
New customers will be key to the new model push, with Audi hoping that vehicles like the Q2 appeal to non-Audi owners as much as it does to current owners of other Audi products.
That new model offensive includes the novel new SQ7, A4 sedan and Avant, A4 Allroad quattro, S4 sedan, S4 Avant, all-new A5 coupe, the S5, the Q7 e-tron and the vital, brand new Q5 later in the year.
This next-generation Audi Q5 will also be built in a new production site in Mexico, which goes into operation later in 2016. Australian-market versions of this car won't arrive until 2017, however, and it's unclear at the moment if ours will come from Mexico or elsewhere.
In the same talk, Stadler touched again on the Dieselgate sage.
“90 per cent of the issues for Audi affect the 2.0 TDI engine, while the other ten percent affect the 1.6 TDI engine,” Stadler said. “The 2.0 TDI only needs a software update, while the 1.6 TDI will need a soft and hardware update. These fixes will take less than an hour to fix at your service centre.”
“We will ensure full transparency and assure you that we will put things right."
Importantly for the company's financial health, Stadler also stated that due to a valid agreement with Volkswagen AG, the affected four-cylinder TDI engines (and the requisite service fix) would have no direct impact on the profitability of the Audi Group.