INGOLSTADT, Germany -- Audi AG wants to double its new-car sales under the brand's Strategy 2020 plan, CEO Rupert Stadler told Automotive News Europe.
"Encouraged by our successful course over the past few years, we want to sell more than 2 million cars a year by 2020," Stadler said in an interview last week at Audi headquarters here.
Media reports revealed the goal late last month, however, this is the first time Stadler has confirmed the new target publicly.
Audi, which sold nearly 1.1 million cars last year, aims to sell 1.5 million cars by 2014, a year ahead of schedule, Stadler said.
For years, the automaker's stated goal has been to become the "most successful luxury automaker in the world by 2015," with sales of 1.5 million cars a year.
BMW is the top-selling premium brand in the world through the first half of this year with a global volume of 689,861 units. Audi ranks second with global sales of 652,950 cars and SUVs and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz is third with a volume of 610,531 after six months.
Audi's target for this year is 1.2 million sales. Audi's lineup will increase to 50 models by 2050 from 42 in 2015 and 38 this year, the CEO said.
Audi also has an ambitious profit margin goal for 2020. "We are planning on a profit margin between 8 percent and 10 percent," Stadler said. "We have already come a long way in recent years. Our profit margin never fell below 5.4 percent even during the financial crisis."
In 2010, Audi achieved a pre-tax profit margin of 10.3 percent, making the Volkswagen AG luxury unit the most profitable of the company's 10 brands.
Audi also has decided it will build a vehicle assembly plant in North America and is considering an engine and transmission plant.
The automaker is finalizing details of the assembly plant – including models, location and capacity. Stadler said all decisions will be made within 36 months.
"It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S.," Stadler said. "The question only is when."
On Monday, when asked about the new plant, Audi spokesman Juergen de Graeve told Bloomberg, "The plan is as good as certain," adding that Audi's supervisory and management board still need to approve the project and that a decision will come "considerably before 2015.'' He declined to provide further details.
An Audi source also told ANE that the carmaker probably will build an engine and transmission plant in North America to increase local content. That second plant could be shared with the VW brand.
Inventory is an issue for Audi, which set a sales record in 2010 with 101,629 sales in the United States.
Stadler said Audi plans to increase U.S. sales by 10 percent to 20 percent this year and could surpass 150,000 units by 2015.
Bloomberg contributed to this report