DIRE STRAITS

A Plan to Save Audi

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Dark skies above Audi. Picture source: Reuters

Once Volkswagen’s star performer, Audi has become one of Wolfsburg’s biggest problems. Revenues at the premium automaker dropped four percent in the first half of the year, and the diesel emissions scandal just keeps on growing, threatening to take down Audi’s senior leadership.

The money and legal problems are only part of the problem. Audi lags woefully behind the competition in developing electric cars and implementing a plan to go digital. It has just two all-electric models in the pipeline, both SUVs, compared to 10 at Daimler and six at BMW.

Embattled Audi CEO Rupert Stadler and his strategy chief Roland Villinger have a plan to dig Audi out of the ditch. They are going to roll out a massive cost-cutting program that aims to save the automaker €10 billion ($11.7 billion) through 2022, according to Handelsblatt sources at the company.

“Everything that the customer no longer demands or pays enough for will be canceled,” a source at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt told Handelsblatt.

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