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Next-Gen Audi A8 Confirmed for 2017, Many More Models in the Pipeline

Mexico plant to come online this year

Audi will invest €3 billion, which is the equivalent of $3.4 billion in property, facilities, and equipment for its product expansion that starts this year. In total, there will be more than 20 new or significantly refreshed Audi vehicles that will launch, the first one being the Q2 small crossover. Additionally, Audi will also add a plug-in variant of the Q7, which will follow after the launch of the performance-oriented SQ7. Next year, Audi will reveal the next-generation A8 (the current A8 is pictured above), which will come with semi-autonomous driving technologies.

Audi's next-generation flagship A8 sedan will be the first vehicle in the German automaker's lineup to receive self-driving technologies. This includes the car's ability to drive autonomously up to 37 mph via the Traffic Jam Pilot feature. Audi's Chairman of the Board of Management, Rupert Stadler, said that "by 2025, we will see fully automated driving."

The automaker also says that its plant in Mexico will come online this year and it will produce the second-generation Q5 crossover starting in the second half of 2016. Audi also says that it's preparing its first all-electric vehicle which will launch in 2018 and manufactured in its plant in Brussels where it will have its own battery production. The new EV is expected to be an SUV and have a range of 500 kilometers, which is around 310 miles. Audi's A4 range will expand this year when the Allroad variant goes on sale later this year followed by the performance-oriented S4.

Despite controversies like the diesel emissions scandal, Audi performed well in 2015 and delivered 1.8 million vehicles and made €4.8 billion, which is equivalent to $5.4 billion. Stadler states that for 2016, the automaker is aiming for further growth and is currently on track to achieve this with the delivery of 620,100 cars in the first four months of this year, 4.9 percent higher than last year. Axel Strotbek, a member of Audi's board of management for finance and organization stated that the automaker is "currently in a phase of enormous advance expenditure for the mobility of tomorrow."

For 2016, Audi is aiming to achiever an operating return of sales of 8 to 10 percent and a net cash flow of €2 to €2.5 billion, which is equivalent to $2.2 to $2.8 billion.