Audi Lays Out Strategy for Road Ahead

Photo of Euro-spec 2018 AQ5 courtesy of Audi.

Audi Lays Out Strategy for Road Ahead

Heading toward 2020, Audi will introduce two compact SUVs, three electrified vehicles, and ramp up autonomous driving technology as it moves away from a 2016 that was marred by the diesel scandal and Takata recall.

Those two operating challenges cost the Volkswagen-owned unit $1.93 billion. Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi AG's board of management, laid out Audi's strategic plan for the years ahead at a March 15 press conference.

"2016 was a very challenging year for our company, but we completed it with robust earnings from our core business and set our course for the future," Stadler said.

Audi earned $63.6 billion in 2016. After the $1.93 billion write down, Audi recorded $3.32 billion in operating profit and an operating return on sales of 5.1%.

Looking forward, Audi plans to introduce two new luxury SUVs, including the Q8 in 2018 and Q4 in 2019. This year, the U.S. market will also see the arrival of the 2017 Q2 compact SUV that has been sold in Europe.

Audi plans to introduce a trio of electrified models each year beginning in 2018. The first model will be a sporty battery-electric SUV with a range of more than 310 miles, Audi has previously announced.

Audi has also formed a new autonomous driving subsidiary called the Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH based in Munich that will develop technology for robot cars. The A8 should be the first autonomous vehicle from Audi when it arrives in the coming years with Level 3 autonomous driving features in traffic flows at up to 37 miles per hour.

Related: Audi to Launch 20 Models This Year