Audi aspires to be more than just an automaker, aiming to use new technology to extract more revenue out of the cars it makes through mobility services.
That's the main thrust of the automaker's new "Vorsprung 2030" strategy, unveiled Wednesday. The name is a reference to Audi's longtime slogan "vorsprung durch technik," which translates to "progress through technology.
The new strategy was spearheaded by Audi strategist Silja Pieh who, along with her team, spent months analyzing 600 trends that could be relevant to the automaker over the remainder of the decade, according to an Audi press release.
2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT
Audi previously announced that it would launch only EVs beginning in 2026, and end sales of internal-combustion cars in 2033. But the automaker also plans to emphasize software alongside electric powertrains.
"In the future, customers will be able to upgrade their vehicles and update or install subsystems as needed," the Audi press release said. That indicates Audi is looking to follow Tesla's model of offering certain features through after-purchase software updates, at extra charge.
This will be made possible by a standardized operating system that will be used throughout the Volkswagen Group beginning in 2025, Audi said. The OS will be developed by VW's CARIAD software arm. So it's possible other VW Group brands will follow Audi's strategy of perpetual upgradability as well.
2022 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron
Audi noted that it has two development arms working on new ideas. One is an "innovation unit" dubbed Audi Denkwerkstatt. The other, called the Audi Production Lab, focuses on technologies to improve the manufacturing process, the automaker said.
In the nearer term, Audi has said it will have 20 all-electric models in its global lineup by 2025, and has been focusing on making its factories CO2-neutral by that time, too.
The launch cadence for the United States has already picked up speed. The E-Tron GT sedan arrived earlier this year, and will soon be followed by the Q4 E-Tron crossover.
Meanwhile, the series of Sphere concepts launching over the next few months will lay out the brand's design direction for later in the decade.