Audi’s ‘Vorsprung’ Sets a Course for Auto Tech Future

Playing on its long-standing marketing slogan, Audi has launched its ‘Vorsprung 2030’ electrification and sustainability strategy.

It says the strategy is a way to help it be a sustainable, social, and technological leader by the end of the decade. The automaker also says it wants to offer electric vehicle customers an unparalleled onboard system with its own ecosystem.

This new strategy follows its recent announcement that, starting in 2026, it would only launch new models on the global market that are equipped with electric drive systems. The company will gradually phase out production of its internal combustion engines between now and 2033. In order to continue living up its Vorsprung durch Technik (Progress through Technology) marketing slogan, the company directors developed its new strategy over the last few months.

Together with around 500 Audi employees from across hierarchical levels and from major markets such as China and the United States, she spent months analyzing more than 600 global trends in the mobility sector through 2030 that could become relevant to the company. This resulted in strategic areas of activity which the team discussed and evaluated in-depth together with the Board of Management. Some of the insights are obvious, such as sales and profits will gradually shift, for example, initially from vehicles with combustion engines to electric cars, and later, when autonomous driving offers additional growth potential, to software and services.

In addition to the plan to phase out the internal combustion engine, more strongly differentiating Audi’s all-electric vehicles from the competition through quality and design as well as increasing the added value for customers play an important role. This includes a an ecosystem for electric and autonomous driving.

Audi will also align business success with sustainable activities on the basis of environmental, social, and governance criteria. These criteria include climate change mitigation and the protection of finite resources, occupational health and safety, social responsibility, and corporate governance practices related to compliance and risk management.

In the new 2030 strategy, CARIAD plays an important role. The group’s software arm will develop a scalable software platform with a standardized operating system and cloud connectivity for all Volkswagen Group brands by 2025. “The corporate strategy ‘Vorsprung 2030’ will ensure that Audi remains viable long into the future,” said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann. The pace of change in our society is rapidly increasing. That’s why we’re accelerating our own transformation.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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