With 572,022 cars built in 2014, the Ingolstadt parent plant is the Audi Group’s largest production facility and Europe’s second-largest car factory. Globally networked, Audi Ingolstadt is the company’s flagship plant in terms of its technological prowess. This is where the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5 and Audi Q5 car lines are built. A big draw for members of the public is the Audi Forum, which attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.
Technical Development (TE) occupies some 335,000 square metres. In addition to motorsport, the division covers all the stages of product creation: from design, engine and transmission development as well as powertrain electrification, to vehicle concepts, electrical systems/electronics, body and suspension.
Measures designed to reduce CO2 have top priority across all departments in the development of new cars. For instance, Audi develops and tests electric drive systems in the Main Component Centre which was expanded in 2010. In a continuous process, Audi engineers test individual components and then simulate the interaction between drivetrain, battery and power electronics before testing the entire powertrain.
Since summer 2012, Technical Development in Ingolstadt has had a new visiting card: the SE Forum. SE (Simultaneous Engineering) involves the integrated and simultaneous design of products and processes. This approach will further reduce the development cycles of new models. With the new data centre in the SE Forum the company has also fully embraced ‘green IT,’ reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions at Audi IT by at least one third.
Further highlights at Technical Development in Ingolstadt include the Design department with its Virtual Reality Studio and the Physics Centre as well as the Wind Tunnel Centre, Electronics Centre and the Audi Pre-Series Centre. Last but not least, the test track in Neustadt an der Donau also belongs to Technical Development. Audi innovations are put through their paces here on our own test tracks, focusing on aspects such as ride comfort or driver-assistance and safety systems.
Production – geared up for perfection
The in-house toolmaking department, which has won multiple awards, supplies both Audi and other Volkswagen Group brands with metal-forming tools and assembly-line systems. In addition to the production line, which has its own press shop, the plant includes a body shop, a paint shop and an assembly line. Cycle, flow, pull and perfection are the key principles of the Audi Production System (APS) – one of the most flexible and efficient production systems in the automotive industry. The production and assembly lines have already received the “Automotive Lean Production Award” on several occasions. The new logistics concept is designed to optimise the materials flow even further in future. Together with a range of ergonomic improvements, this contributes to one of the guiding principles of Audi’s production strategy: “The focus is on the person”.
Quality assurance – the highest standards guaranteed
Consummate workmanship, outstanding design and uncompromising reliability: attributes associated with the Audi brand worldwide. The ADAC has also recognised these characteristics and selected the Audi A3 built in Ingolstadt as the winner of the “Yellow Angel” award in the “Quality” category in 2013. The vehicle beat off a field of 52 models.Quality is not an abstract maxim at Audi, but an end-to-end principle that stems from the corporate culture. At the Ingolstadt headquarters, over 2,000 employees are responsible for quality assurance at all Audi plants worldwide. From development, vehicle manufacturing to dealership support, the hallmark high standard of quality is ensured across the board. The specialist magazine “auto motor und sport” has also acknowledged these attributes, awarding Audi first place in its 2013 quality report, as it had done the previous year.
Sustainability and environmental protection
Environmental protection in practice, at every level: the Audi Production System (APS) dissects the Group’s environmental policy as far down as the individual production lines. The Ingolstadt site has already been revalidated several times under the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) by DEKRA Certification GmbH and accredited to ISO 14001:2004. The site has thus maintained the EMAS seal for over 17 years. Moreover, the Audi plant in Ingolstadt already satisfies the new DIN EN ISO 50001 standard, which imposes particularly stringent requirements regarding the systematic and continuous reduction of energy consumption. The new data centre opened in Ingolstadt at the end of 2012 also contributes to this goal: here the use of state-of-the-art technology enables a saving of more than 9,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The TÜV Rheinland inspection authority has recognised the company’s efforts with the award of a Premium Certificate for the highest level of energy efficiency. In the long term, Audi’s vision is to implement a fully CO2-neutral manufacturing process for all cars built in Ingolstadt. The other sites will follow in turn.
Audi is pursuing the long-term vision of the completely carbon-neutral production of all automobiles in Ingolstadt. The other sites will follow in turn.
Since the beginning of 2012, the factory at Ingolstadt has been supplied exclusively with electricity generated from renewable sources.
More about environmental protection
Audi Forum Ingolstadt
The plant, in the heart of the German State of Bavaria, is not only AUDI AG’s biggest production facility, but also home to its head offices and Technical Development division. The site covers an area of more than 2,700,000 square metres – equivalent to more than 300 football pitches.
Ingolstadt, located on the River Danube, is the sixth-largest city in the State of Bavaria with a population of 128,000. Audi is the region’s biggest employer, with 40,027 employees (as at December 31, 2014).