Audi will take the lead on R&D within the Volkswagen Group, to create greater economies of scale and a pooling of resources amongst the group’s various brands.
The announcement, made as the VW Group release their 2019 financial results, comes as they boost investment in future technologies including electric powertrains, 5G connectivity, and autonomous-driving functions while increasing their software capabilities through a new division called Car.Software.
Audi already are coöperating with Porsche on the development of the PPE (premium platform electric) platform architecture for midsize-to-large electric vehicles.
Starting next month, Audi will also take charge of R&D across the whole of the VW Group. The date coincides with the arrival of new Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, the former BMW boardmember responsible for purchasign, who’s coming onboard to succeed Bram Schot.
The financial results show VW Group increased their operating profit 22% in 2019 to €16.9bn. The Group’s 22% profit increase resulted from strong sales of high-margin vehicles, particularly SUVs. The group sold a total of 10.975 million cars in 2019, up 1.3% from a year earlier.