INGOLSTADT (Bloomberg) -- Audi will add models and expand production in emerging markets as the luxury brand aims to topple BMW AG as the largest premium carmaker.
"Audi plans to keep expanding its model portfolio in the coming years at an undiminished pace," the company said today at its annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany.
Audi's net income doubled to 2.59 billion euros ($3.61 billion) in 2010 as growing demand in China and the U.S. spurred vehicle sales to record levels, Audi said. Revenue rose 19 percent to 35.4 billion euros.
CEO Rupert Stadler said today he still sees "considerable potential" in India, Brazil and Russia, and will further expand local production plants as the current facilities don't suffice to underpin Audi's expansion.
Audi will spend 11.6 billion euros worldwide outside China on new plants, products, and technologies in the next five years with more than 5 billion euros destined for its two German plants.
The Volkswagen AG division has a goal of overtaking BMW as the biggest luxury automaker by 2015 and last year introduced a new A7 Sportback, an updated version of its A8 flagship sedan and the A1, the smallest model in its 36-vehicle portfolio.
The brand aims to increase 2011 sales by more than 10 percent to over 1.2 million cars and sport-utility vehicles with new models including the RS3 Sportback, a hybrid Q5 sport- utility vehicle and the Q3 compact SUV. Audi aims for a 2011 operating margin of 9.4 percent, the carmaker said.
"We want to grow in 2011 too," Stadler said in a statement. "The prospects for 2011 are good."
Audi expects China, the world's biggest auto market, to continue to expand "at a high pace" over the medium term and is currently enlarging its factory in Changchun where the VW unit already in 2009 took steps to raise capacity to 300,000 units, according to Stadler.
"We want to participate in that momentum again in 2011," the CEO said. Audi increased Chinese sales by 43 percent to 227,900 cars and SUVs last year, underpinning its leading position in the country's premium segment.