CEO Markus Duesmann: “The power to shape the transformation is in our hands”

At AUDI AG’s Annual Media Conference, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann gives his take on the war in Ukraine and its impact on the company’s business activities.

The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine underscores that we cannot take peace and freedom for granted, even in Europe. How is Audi implementing its e-roadmap? What synergies does closer cooperation between Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Ducati have to offer? What role will China play in the company’s electrification strategy? Markus Duesmann’s key messages for the 2022 Annual Media Conference.

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CEO Markus Duesmann

On the war in Ukraine …

  • “We are shocked and deeply moved at the ongoing news about the war in Ukraine. We are learning from the worst-case scenario that peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted. We continue to hope for a rapid cessation of hostilities and a return to diplomacy.”
  • “This war has also impacted our business. Volkswagen Group has stopped production in and export activities to Russia. A task force is working on reducing supply bottlenecks and maximizing supply security.”
  • “At the same time, it is obvious that security policy aspects now make the shift away from fossil fuels even more necessary. This will hopefully accelerate the energy revolution.”
  • “What’s key now is that politicians and the business community work together to address medium- and long-term possibilities and develop a plan for how to move forward.”

On the 2021 annual financial statements …

  • “Our performance in the past year proves that we don’t just have specific action plans, but also the financial clout to lead the transformation of the automotive industry.”
  • “With an operating profit of 5.5 billion euros and a net cash flow of 7.8 billion euros, we are in a solid position. Our key financials for 2021 prove that we are on the right track: we exceeded previous results both in operating profit and net cash flow. We are very proud of this outstanding team performance. After all, only a healthy car industry will be able to shape the sustainable mobility of the future.”

On “Vorsprung 2030” and the e-roadmap …

  • “E-mobility is by far the most efficient way to defossilize. This is why we are expanding our portfolio to over 20 models by 2026.”
  • “The Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept embodies the dynamics and elegance of the future electric luxury class at Audi. With the production model set for launch at a later date, we are expanding our e-model portfolio in one of our core segments.”
  • “Charging must be as simple as refueling – and ideally even more convenient. We successfully launched the pilot phase of our additional premium fast-charging service, the Audi charging hub, in December. This summer, we are launching a second pilot in Zurich.”

On collaboration in the Premium brand group …

  • Their expansive combined portfolio means Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini are prepared to take on the competition from all sides in the premium and luxury segments. Plus, there’s Ducati in the motorcycle segment.”
  • “Lamborghini and Bentley clearly stand to benefit from Audi in the transition to e-mobility: these brands would struggle to make the huge investments on their own.”
  • “Each brand has its own unique expertise: Lamborghini, for example, in lightweight and super sports car construction. Or Bentley in interiors and high-quality leather and wood processing. I consider it crucial to see the brands’ differences as some of their greatest strengths. Audi certainly stands to benefit in these areas.”
  • “We expect synergies to reach an amount in the hundreds of millions of euros over the next few years.”

On plans for China …

  • “The Audi FAW NEV Company, or NEV Co. for short, plays a key role in our electrification strategy for China. That’s why we are so pleased we reached this milestone in February, when we were able to conclude the planning and approval phase.”
  • “With this important decision made, we can now go full steam ahead with the development of the company and start construction for the new facility. We are investing a total of 2.6 billion euros in this project, including the new plant.”
  • “From late 2024 on, we will locally produce the first models based on the PPE platform, together with our partner FAW. The first to be launched will be three models from the Audi A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron series.”
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