We just crossed the middle of 2021, and the Indian automobile sector is abuzz with several electric vehicles launches in the near future. Both 2 wheelers and 4 wheelers in electric avatars. We even have quite a few premium 4-wheel electric vehicles in India or scheduled to launch in India.
While Mercedes Benz puller a stunner yesterday, Audi has gone ahead and jolted us with a shocker. We can’t say it was completely unexpected but reading the news in terms of a finite sense did hit us harder than it should.
Audi have officially announced, as part of their ‘Vorsprung 2030’ strategy:
- All new Audi models launched in 2026, an onwards, will be all electric. Only.
- Audi will gradually phase out and ultimately stop production of internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2033.
As enthusiasts we have come to terms with the fact that the electric revolution is upon us and the days of IC engines are numbered. But to see an actual ‘number’ to that finite era is a bit unnerving.
Audi, isn’t fettered by the change! They have taken it upon themselves to make themselves as climate neutral as possible and be prepared for the fight with the other big boys. Mercedes has already come on the scene all guns blazing. Audi might have a few surprises up their sleeve too. Let’s see who rides the wave best.
Some excerpts from Audi’s official press release about why they are going all-electric by 2026 and what strategy decided Audi’s decision to stop IC engines by 2033.
Here’s what Audi CEO Markus Duesmann had to say about this strategy and Vorsprung 2030.
“The corporate strategy ‘Vorsprung 2030’ will ensure that Audi remains viable long into the future,” says Audi CEO Markus Duesmann. The pace of change in our society is rapidly increasing. That’s why we're accelerating our own transformation.”
A few weeks ago, Audi announced 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. This clear decision was the result of an intensive strategy process with the ambition to continue to grow profitably.
Audi wants to be a sustainable, social, and technological leader by 2030. The premium brand wants to offer electric vehicle customers an unparalleled onboard system with its own ecosystem.
In order to continue living up to Audi’s “Vorsprung durch Technik” (“Progress through Technology”) slogan in the future, the Board of Management spent the past few months formulating the company’s new “Vorsprung 2030” strategy. With a firm date now set for the company’s transition to e-mobility, the brand with the four rings is resolutely tackling its transformation. Audi embraces its role as a pioneer and driver of innovation in the automotive industry. “‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ remains necessary because we can only solve many of the world’s major problems, such as carbon emissions and global warming, through the use of clean technologies. We view ourselves as a company that guarantees the freedom and individual mobility of our customers,” emphasized Duesmann. That is why Audi is focusing on zero-emission drive systems. “We don’t simply develop technology for its own sake. It must be consequential and effective in keeping the world moving.”
Development of the new “Vorsprung 2030” strategy
“Vorsprung durch Technik” has defined Audi’s DNA for 50 years. To ensure that this doesn’t change, Audi’s chief strategist Silja Pieh and her team developed a new process for creating a sustainable and forward-looking corporate strategy. 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 – 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.
While this offers a glimpse into the future of Audi, if you want to know more about the past 50 years and how the motto “Vorsprung durch Technik” came to be read our post on Audi under History of Brands.