German luxury car maker Audi is investing €11.6 billion ($15.3 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) between 2011 and 2015 to focus on future technologies.
From 2011 to 2015 the company plans to invest about €11.6 billion in fixed assets, making this the biggest investment program in the company's history.
With this investment, we are laying the foundation for sustained, profitable growth, and supporting our claim to leadership in the premium car segment, said Axel Strotbek, Board Member for Finance and Organization of AUDI AG.
More than € 5 billion will be invested in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm between 2011 and 2015.
In addition to our foreign sites, the German sites will also profit greatly from the Audi brand's good worldwide prospects for growth, especially in China, Strotbek added.
About 80 percent of all investment - more than € 9.5 billion - will go to developing new products and to technologies of the future such as electric and hybrid drive systems, the carmaker said.
The German luxury carmaker also plans to hire 1,200 skilled employees in 2011.
Innovation requires people, said Thomas Sigi, Member of the AUDI AG Board of Management for Human Resources. For this reason, we want to hire around 1,200 experts in 2011 who will primarily bolster our electromobility and lightweight construction fields of competence, as well as the implementation of our growth strategy.
In 2010, Audi recruited about 500 experts and 780 trainees who began their vocational training in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
Last week the company announced that it has broken its record for annual vehicle sales in the U.S., recording its 93,507th transaction on December 13, 2010. The carmaker also plans to sell more that 100,000 vehicle sales by the end of the December and will also aim for another record breaking year in 2011.