When it comes to establishing the next generation of the auto industry, it's going to cost money -- a lot of it, in fact. And that's exactly the kind of money Audi is ready to spend.
Audi announced Tuesday that it intends to spend some 14 billion euro (about $16 billion) on the future by 2023. That'll cover investments in electrification, mobility, digitalization and autonomy. The money won't just cover products. It will also cover building up the factories and people that will be in charge of putting everything together.
On the electrification front, Audi intends to offer 20 different electrified models, about half of which will be offered as pure battery-electric vehicles, and it all starts with the E-Tron SUV. Some of that money will be dedicated to Audi's new PPE electric vehicle architecture, which it's developing jointly with Porsche.
As for digitalization, that refers to boosting its connected services, such as over-the-air updates that can add features the car didn't leave the factory with. On the autonomy front, it already has Traffic Jam Pilot, which is the first system on a production car to use a lidar sensor. Sadly, a whole host of regulatory and other issuesfor now, but that could change if legislation amenable to the tech is passed. The company didn't offer many details about its efforts elsewhere in the mobility space, but odds are those announcements will come in time. After all, not everything Audi's investing in is ready to be shown off yet.
"This planning round bears a clear signature: We are taking a very systematic approach to electric mobility and will be much more focused in future," said Bram Schot, interim board chairman at Audi, in a statement. "We are consistently prioritizing our resources for future-oriented products and services that are highly attractive and relevant to the market."
That $16 billion will cover a little over one third of Audi's total expenditures over the next five years. Simultaneously, the company is working on its Audi Transformation Plan, which seeks to reduce complexity and narrow the company's focus to things that are relevant to the future. To that end, Audi has already made some changes that it expects will generate about $1.1 billion in 2018 alone.
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