Progress through technology

Automotive manufacturing in the UK may be undergoing a severe downturn but German car maker Audi has bucked the trend by reporting record profits, revenue and vehicle sales for the 2008 financial year.

Delivery of Audi vehicles was up to 1,003,469, representing a 4.1 per cent growth.

Total revenue for the year climbed by 1.7 per cent to €34,196 (£31,676) and operating profit was up 2.5 per cent to €2,772m.

The number of Audi employees also rose to 57,533 in 2008 with 2,181 apprentices being trained in the same year. Net liquidity was up by 18.2 per cent to €9.3bn and profit before tax increased by nine per cent to €3,177m.

However, while sales in Europe were up, the number of vehicles delivered to customers in the US fell by 6.1 per cent. The company said that it would remain cautious of market conditions and assess all investments and costs that are not product related.

Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management at Audi, said: ‘With our 13th successive deliveries record, 2008 was the most successful fiscal year in the history of our company. We have been steadily improving our productivity in recent years, and the main financial figures for 2008 reflect this. These positive effects make it easier for us to respond appropriately to the crisis.’

As well as record figures for 2008, Audi said that it had increased its market share in January and February of this year. On the back of this, the group has committed to increasing its vehicle range from 28 models to 40 over the next seven years.