This, as revealed in an interview with newly-appointed Audi CEO Bram Schot, with German paper Handelsblatt.
Audi: streamline, simplify, save
Speaking of the challenges that WLTP presented Audi, Schot said: “we learned something from it, that we are too complex”.
“We reduced complexity by around 30 percent,” Schot added, while emphasising that volume-selling variants were not to fall victim to the cuts, rather “engines and variants that were built specifically for a few markets”.
All told, the engine range should be more streamlined, with a minimal effect on sales volumes.
The engine cuts, along with a thinning-out of the numbers of managers and executives, will go some way towards delivering a €15 billion saving by 2022, hopes Schot. “We have too many executives on board today. One level – about ten percent of the line – we will be able to take out.”
Further savings are to be made on development. Audi is to forge a closer developmental relationship with its sister marques. “For all models, we want to increase synergies through closer cooperation”. Interestingly, Schot highlights Porsche as a desirable marque in the portfolio for Audi to snuggle up with.
As for the future of the motorcar, Schot seems optimistic about electric car uptake. He reckons it’s easy to underestimate the speed at which electric motoring will catch on. Once the technology and infrastructure are at a viable standard.
Audi wants to sell one electric car for every four cars sold by 2025, but Schot says the company could be there by 2023. It’s electric car development and autonomous driving that Audi’s research and development workforce can thank for job security up to 2025.
The only hurdle Schot anticipates is cost, and whether the consumer will be willing to pay the price.