Audi is stepping up the pace

'ForMotion' austerity program helps speed up engineering processes

Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi wants to use the VW group's "ForMotion" austerity program to speed up engineering processes and launch new vehicles on the market quicker.

The German automaker is already analyzing the cost of every single stage of engineering to push future processes. The most cost-efficient process is the benchmark for future projects.

"The shorter those processes the lower the cost," said Ulrich Hackenberg, head of concept development at Audi.

The development of the new A6 took 26 months from the point of approval of the styling to production startup. Hackenberg plans to cut this period to 24 months for future vehicles.

He believes that there is still cost-saving potential within the making of tools for large parts, such as control panels, fenders and other body shell components. He wants to cut their construction period to 10 from twelve months.

Hackenberg says ForMotion allows for improved networking between Audi and the other brands within the VW Group.

One result is a new generation of door locks that has a greater variety of functions and is cheaper than the one used sofar. It will be used in all of the high-volume vehicles by the four Group brands sooner than planned.

Audi already is using the locks, which are manufactured by supplier Intier, for the new A6 and the A3 sportback.

VW started the ForMotion program in spring 2004. Cost savings of more than 400 million euros have been achieved during the first half.