Audi delays tech projects as it cuts costs

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Audi delays tech projects as it cuts costs

Self-driving car track postponed.

Audi will delay technology projects at its German base to cut costs as it grapples with the Volkswagen group's emissions scandal and multi-million-euro investments in electric cars and autonomous driving.

Audi, Volkswagen's profit engine, has said it will scale back its conventional car program to fund a strategic shift to green vehicles and digital services through 2025 as competition with German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz heats up.

But cutbacks will also affect next-generation technology projects intended to help Audi clean up its image in the wake of the emissions scandal, two sources at Audi said.

Among other projects, Audi will postpone a test-track for self-driving vehicles and facilities to make batteries and concept cars, the sources said.

A spokesman for Audi said projects pertaining to a planned technology park at Audi's home in Ingolstadt dubbed "IN-Campus" would be postponed for the foreseeable future.

Some analysts bemoan the fact that, although Audi benefits from the scale effects of its parent VW, it still invests more cash in property, plant and equipment than BMW or Daimler's Mercedes-Benz.

Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said there was "room for improvement" at Audi on trimming the costs of physical assets.

"We welcome the fact that all parts of VW are looking to lower their excessively high costs," he said.

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