Currently reading: Audi to lead Volkswagen Group R&D efforts
VW Group moves to bolster research efforts after posting major profit growth in 2019

Audi will take the lead on research and development within the Volkswagen Group, as the car giant aims to further pool the resources of its brands to speed investment in future technologies.

The announcement was made as the Volkswagen Group released its 2019 financial results, with operating profits rising 22% to 16.9 billion euros (£14.45 billion).

The VW Group, which also includes Volkswagen, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and Bentley, is investing heavily in R&D to develop new technology for future cars, such as electrification, connectivity and autonomy.

Audi has worked with Porsche to develop the PPE platform for premium and large electric cars, and when new CEO Markus Duesmann assumes his role on 1 April, the brand will take over the lead for research and development. Audi will also become the focus of the VW Group’s new Car.Software company, which is centralising development of in-car software.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said: “Given the strong dynamic of change in our industry, we are pooling our strengths in the Volkswagen Group and positioning ourselves competitively for the future.”

Audi’s outgoing CEO, Bram Schot, said: “It is exactly the right way not to stick to the organisational status quo, but to consistently exploit the advantages of the group’s network. With a greater job split at the group, we can manage future issues more agilely and flexibly.”

The VW Group has also announced it is planning to buy the 0.36% of Audi shares that it does not currently own, increasing its holding in the firm to 100%.

Sales rise fuels VW Group profit growth

The VW Group’s 22% rise in profits was a result of strong sales of higher-margin cars, particularly SUVs. The group sold a total of 10,975,000 cars in 2019, up 1.3% on the previous year, with its sales revenue of £215.7 billion a 7.1% increase on 2018.

The firm’s profit was also helped by a dip in payouts and costs related to Dieselgate. It spent 2.3 billion euros (£1.96bn) on such special items in 2019, compared with 3.2 billion euros (£2.73bn) in 2018.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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fadyady 2 March 2020

Oh no!

That means more cheating, ducking and diving
m2srt 2 March 2020

VAG has always had a huge

VAG has always had a huge internal power struggle, I doubt that this will resolve it.