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Audi Plans $10.5B Investments Through 2012

MATT MOORE

FRANKFURT (AP) ¿ Audi AG said Monday it plans to spend euro7.3 billion ($10.51 billion) on plant upgrades, new products and technology research as it moves to expand its business worldwide and increase market share.

Audi, based in Ingolstadt, and a unit of Volkswagen AG, said it plans to spend the amount from 2009 to 2012 and will increase the number of models from its current 34 to a planned 42 by 2015.

Of that, around euro5.9 billion will go toward new products and future technologies, or about 80 percent of its planned spending.

"With our planned investments in new products and mobility concepts, for example electric propulsion, we are creating a basis for our company's future growth," said Axel Strotbek, who oversees finance and organization at the company.

Investors agreed, pushing Audi shares up nearly 4.2 percent to euro500 in Frankfurt trading.

To that end, the company also wants to expand its model line, adding the A1, A7, A8 and R8 Spyder to its production portfolio in 2010, along with the Q5 Hybrid, slated to reach the market in the beginning of 2011.

"We will be in a position to finance all our planned investments from our operative cash flow," Strotbek said.

The car maker plans to spend heavily at its German plants, parsing out euro3.8 billion to its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants from this year through 2012.

Some euro2.5 billion will be invested at Ingolstadt, including a new transmission and emission center, along with production of the A1. Another euro1.3 billion will be spent at Neckarsulm for production of the A6, A7 and A8 models.

___

On the Net:

http://www.audi.com

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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