The Audi Group
Four sporty brands – one premiere: On the evening before its 2013 annual press conference, the newly formed Audi Group is making its first joint public appearance. Audi, Lamborghini, Ducati and Italdesign Giugiaro can look back on a very successful 2012 – with a total of about 1,457,200 cars and 44,102 motorcycles delivered, new records set and sustained growth in all areas.
The four brands of the newly formed Audi Group complement one another’s individual technology and design competencies to create a portfolio that makes each of them even stronger. “Each brand stands for excellence in performance, innovative technologies, fascinating design and pure passion. Thus, Audi, Lamborghini, Ducati and Italdesign Giugiaro all fit well together under the common umbrella of the Audi Group,” emphasizes Rupert Stadler.
Audi, Lamborghini, Ducati and Italdesign Giugiaro can all look back on a very successful year. In 2012, the Audi brand set new sales records – with 1,455,100 vehicles delivered, it exceeded its previous sales record from the prior year by about 152,400 units. The primary drivers of this increase were the Audi A6, Audi Q3 and Audi Q5. The new Audi A3 was also launched, which will be offered for the first time as a sedan in global markets in 2013. Audi also experienced strong gains in its sporty models over the past year. Here, the line-up ranges from the SQ5 TDI, the first Audi S model with a diesel engine, to the RS Q3, which transfers the dynamic RS philosophy to the segment of compact SUVs, and finally the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback – they are currently the most powerful street models from Audi with 412 kW (560 hp).
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., a subsidiary of AUDI AG since July 1998, increased its global deliveries to 2,083 vehicles in 2012 – a 30 percent gain. For its success, the super sports car manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese is giving itself a present: it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Another anniversary highlight is a new top model: the Aventador Roadster sports a 515 kW (700 hp) V12 engine and removable roof made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP); it elicits pure passion. At the Geneva International Motor Show, Lamborghini presented another eye catcher – the visually and technically radical Veneno model, of which only three units will be built.
With its super sports cars, Lamborghini perfectly rounds out the Audi Group line-up in an upward direction. Another strength of the Italians is lightweight design – they have many years of experience working with carbon fiber reinforced plastics and are vigorously driving progress in this area. There are many synergies between Audi and Lamborghini in this field of innovation. A goal that is common to both brands: Each new model should be lighter in weight than the previous model.
Since July 2012, another Italian brand has also belonged to the Audi Group – Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. – strategically complementing the group. The manufacturer of high-performance motorcycles from Bologna is considered the leader in the premium segment. Ducati is very profitable on the market, and the brand has long been a legend in motorcycle racing. The company is an optimal fit for the Audi Group with its exceptional competencies in engine development and manufacturing as well as in lightweight design.
In the past year, Ducati set a new sales record, delivering 44,102 motorcycles. Three new model series arrived on the streets – the versatile Multistrada 1200, the spectacularly designed Hypermotard product line and the 20th Anniversary Edition of the purist models 696, 796 and 1100 Evo from the Monster series.
The brand had already introduced its new superbike in the previous year – the 1199 Panigale, which is named after the city district in Bologna where the main factory is located. The Panigale, now also available in a top R version, is a complete work-of-art consisting of numerous high-end solutions, from the electronically controlled “riding mode” technology to its extremely lightweight monocoque design. The superbike has a power of 143 kW (195 hp), yet it only weighs 164 kg (361.56 lb).
Another very successful working relationship in the Audi Group exists with Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. The company from Moncalieri near Turin has an excellent international reputation – around 50 million produced cars bear its design signature. Italdesign Giugaro’s collaboration with Audi began in 1973 with the Asso di Picche (Ace of Spades) coupe concept and continued in 1978 with the Audi 80. The company developed a close relationship of mutual trust with the Volkswagen Group while performing its design work for the first generation of the Volkswagen Golf in the early 1970s. This resulted in a comprehensive development framework agreement that was signed in 2008. In 2010, the Volkswagen Group procured 90.1 percent of the company’s shares and integrated it in the Audi Group.
Italdesign Giugiaro, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, is on a continual growth curve, and the number of employees grew from 800 to 900 last year. The company not only provides valuable creative ideas; it also serves as a development partner for many projects within the Volkswagen Group based on its engineering competence. In 2012 alone, Italdesign Giugiaro created 86 design models, 115 pilot production models and participated in 52 projects in the area of industrial design.
The Audi Group strives for sustainable growth in its brands, while fulfilling its corporate responsibility. Along with economic success and international competitiveness, other factors playing an equally important role are protection of the environment and resources as well as fulfilling its responsibilities to employees and society.
Over the long term, Audi wants to attain fully CO2-neutral mobility with its products and, like Lamborghini, it is working to continually reduce its emissions. Lamborghini is targeting CO2-neutral production of its sports cars by 2015. The Fondazione Ducati is committed to sponsoring initiatives related to social, educational and cultural issues as well as traffic safety. Many other projects also contribute to realizing the corporate responsibility objectives of the individual brands.