Audi Group: The Greatest Year Ever: Fiscal Year 2008

Profits up, financial position great!

The Audi group had its most successful fiscal year ever in 2008. Deliveries of Audi brand vehicles were up 4.1 percent to the record total of 1,003,469 automobiles. In addition, profit after tax was $2.817 billion, a rise of 30.4 percent from 2007. Audi also had a return on investment of 19.8 percent! I wish I'd invested with them instead of in my other stocks.

Audi is currently one of the most profitable companies in the international automobile industry. This is a great advantage for them since the effects of the financial crisis were already apparent last year.

Expanding Markets

Audi's biggest single export market was again China with almost 120,000 cars sold, up 17% from the previous year. The brand with the four rings easily defended its position as market leader in the premium segment in 2008. Its success is also regularly shown in satisfaction rankings. In the J.D. Power customer satisfaction poll, Audi has enjoyed a top three place in China every year for the past five years. The market performance in India, where Audi started up CKD assembly operations at the end of 2007, tripled to 1,050 cars.

The Lamborghini subsidiary increased deliveries of its luxury cars to 2,430, up 1.0% over the 2007 fiscal year. I personally would have thought that there would be a lot more Lamborghini's out there!

However, in the United States, the number of vehicles delivered to customers fell to 87,760 automobiles, down 6.1 percent in a sharply contracting market. However, the brand's share of the premium market grew to 7.1% up from 6.2 %.

Audi Takes Care Of It's Workers!

Audi values its work force and giving out a profit sharing bonus to employees that will average $6,760. The company says: "Dedicated, highly qualified employees are the basis for Audi's future success." Therefore, Audi will not freeze hiring like its competitors. Instead they are looking for up to 300 new experts, mainly engineers. They are sure that this counter-cyclical strategy will payoff in the future.

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