German carmaker Audi has unveiled an ambitious expansion plan aimed at raising its international profile and promoting new, green technologies.
Audi hopes increased development spending will fuel international sales
Audi says it plans to spend 7.3 billion euros (US$10.51 billion) on plant upgrades, new products and technology research as it moves to expand its customer base worldwide and increase market share.
Audi, a unit of Volkswagen, said on Monday it plans to spend the amount from 2009 to 2012 and will increase its product range from the current offering of 34 models to a planned 42 by 2015.
New models due to make their debut in 2010 include the A1 sub-compact, A7 sportback, A8 luxury sedan and R8 Spyder. Audi will release its Q5 Hybrid compact crossover SUV in 2011.
Audi has chosen the Q5 as the basis for its first fully hybrid production model
Around 5.9 billion euros have been earmarked for product development and future technologies - about 80 percent of its planned spending.
"With our planned investments in new products and mobility concepts, for example electric propulsion, we are creating a basis for our company's future growth," said Audi finance director Axel Strotbeck.