The luxury arm of Volkswagen plans to accelerate its push into battery-electric vehicles with 30 BEVs expected to reach the market by 2025, company officials announced during their annual meeting on Thursday morning.
But the move is expected to ding the brand's bottom line. Volkswagen expects to spend about $9 billion on electrification by 2023 — much of that through Audi, which is taking a leading role in the corporate effort. Audi is developing a new battery-vehicle "architecture," dubbed premium platform electric, or PPE, that will be shared by other brands, including Porsche.
That is one of the key reasons why Audi's operating return on sales will run between 7 and 8.5 percent in the near term, officials said during a meeting at brand headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, compared with a long-term Audi goal of between 9 and 11 percent.
Audi officials said they are taking steps to trim costs, even as they hope to counter a worldwide decline in sales last year.
"The transformation plan is making a significant contribution towards safeguarding our future," Alexander Seitz, Audi's member of the board of management for finance, China, compliance and integrity, said in Ingolstadt. "Because only in this way is it possible for us to transfer enormous resources into future areas and generate the cash flow to finance electric mobility."