FRANKFURT, GERMANY --- Audi AG said this week it plans to spend euro7.3 billion ($10.51 billion) on auto plant renovations and technology research from 2009-2012 in an effort to increase its market share and number of vehicle models. 

"With our planned investments in new products and mobility concepts -- for example, electric propulsion -- we are creating a basis for our company's future growth," said Axel Strotbek, who oversees finance and organization for Audi AG. 

Based in Ingolstadt, Audi is a unit of Volkswagen AG.

About 80 percent of planned spending will go toward new products -- including the Audi e-Tron electric car and the Q5 Hybrid -- as well as future technologies, the Associated Press reported. The automaker hopes to increase its number of models from 34 to 42 by 2015. 

The e-Tron, set to become a production model by the end of 2012, is an all-wheel-drive, all-electric, high-end sports car. The Q5 Hybrid is expected to reach the market in the beginning of 2011.

Originally posted on Green Fleet Magazine

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