Volkswagen AG’s Audi luxury-car brand will increase its workforce by 17 percent through 2020 as the manufacturer expands production beyond Germany to meet growing demand in markets such as China and the U.S.
“We’re expecting further growth over the long term beyond 2015,” Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said a speech to be delivered today at the annual shareholders meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany. “That gives us confidence to further expand our product portfolio and develop our internationalization, possibly also with production capacity in the U.S.”
Audi, which employs about 60,000 people worldwide, plans to add 10,000 positions over the coming decade, the CEO said. The VW unit expects China to keep growing “at a high pace” in the medium term. It’s also targeting U.S. sales of 200,000 cars and sport-utility vehicles starting in 2015 after deliveries in the market exceeded 100,000 vehicles last year for the first time.
Audi, which has been gaining on market leaders BMW and Mercedes-Benz, is targeting an increase in 2011 global sales of more than 10 percent as the revamped A6 sedan and new Q3 compact SUV attract customers. The Ingolstadt, Germany-based carmaker aims to dethrone Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), which will publish first-quarter figures tomorrow, as the world’s top luxury-car maker by 2015.
Audi sold 1.09 million cars and SUVs last year, a 15 percent increase. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand gained 15 percent to 1.17 million vehicles while deliveries at BMW’s namesake brand increased 15 percent to 1.22 million.