Duesmann and Audi set a product cadence that would see internal combustion vehicles decline during the decade. The automaker will introduce the final internal combustion engine in 2025 and phase out vehicles so that it sells nothing but battery-electric vehicles by 2033. Despite the plan, the CEO said conventionally powered vehicles will continue to drive the brand’s profits from Through most of 2020, even as electric vehicle sales rise to a majority for the brand globally by 2030.
“We are converting our product portfolio to electric vehicles in all core sectors more consistently” than other legacy automakers, Duesmann said. “This is a big change for the entire company, but more than that, I see it as an opportunity.”
Audi is banking in part due to the advent of a software suite developed by sister company CARIAD that will eventually drive all-electric vehicles across the VW Group. It expects the program to unlock additional revenue streams from consumers willing to pay for temporary upgrades and services in their vehicles. It also believes additional synergies will flow from homologation across the Volkswagen Group into a single modular EV architecture, called the SSP, which can be scaled for use from small city cars to large sedans and will rely on a standardized battery cell design.
“The innovations will reach our customers faster and faster,” Duismann explained. “Our claim should be that Audi always looks like Audi, even if the driver eventually becomes a passenger.”
Duesmann promises that one of these innovations, Level 4 autonomous driving, will be delivered to consumers starting in 2025. Audi is working on a car it calls Artemis, which it says will feature the Level 4 system developed by VW partner Argo AI that it plans to sell to consumers in the mid-decade.
“Automated driving is the real technological leap forward,” Dussmann said. “Where the car takes over, that’s a huge leap forward. The human brain can do that, but for a computer, it’s hard and tough. We think that’s going to be the next big thing because to give our customers time – the time they currently spend driving.”
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