“Audi and Silvercar share the same vision,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “We want to open up a new, flexible way to access mobility for our customers while offering premium quality in every respect. Now we are joining forces and, together, are driving our initiative for innovative mobility services forward.”
At the center of the Silvercar portfolio is an exclusive rental car service at U.S. airports. The start-up, founded in 2012, is known for its seamless customer experience and exceptional service levels — from reservations to vehicle return via mobile app. The Silvercar fleet consists exclusively of silver Audi A4 models and received the “World Travel Award” as North America’s best rental car service in 2015. In recent months, Silvercar has significantly expanded its market presence to 15 locations in the U.S. The company, headquartered in Austin, Texas, has about 150 employees. Audi has held a minority share in Silvercar since 2015.
Since the beginning of their partnership the companies have collaborated to deliver Audi shared fleet in the U.S. market. This Audi service for intelligent management of company cars began U.S. operation in 2016. In addition, with Audi on demand, the Four Rings offers customers in San Francisco the option to flexibly book via app their preferred Audi model for the duration they wish.
Audi and Silvercar intend to work in close cooperation to develop the range of mobility services in the United States for both brands. For this purpose, Audi plans to acquire all shares in Silvercar. The companies expect approval by applicable regulatory authorities with the transaction concluding in the first half of 2017.
The Supervisory Board is thus expressing its confidence in the Board of Management to continue the successful development of the Audi Group. The proposed ratification by the Annual General Meeting does not preclude possible claims for damages being made against individual persons. In accordance with its legal obligations, since the diesel issue became known, the Supervisory Board has been examining whether it is obliged to make claims for damages against individual members of the Board of Management. This examination is continuing.
Against the background of ongoing investigations, the Supervisory Board proposes the postponement of ratification of the actions of Dr. Stefan Knirsch, who stepped down from the Board of Management of AUDI AG on September 23, 2016.
Furthermore, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board will recommend to the Annual General Meeting the ratification of the actions of all members of the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG.
The Belgian team will be racing against, among others, the fellow Audi teams of Saintéloc Racing from France and I.S.R. from the Czech Republic. WRT and Saintéloc have been part of the Audi Sport customer racing family since 2010, and I.S.R. joined in 2014. Saintéloc driver Christopher Haase is a former Blancpain champion, while I.S.R. driver Frank Stippler has already won 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Spa. WRT, Saintéloc and I.S.R. will also be representing the brand with the four rings in the Endurance Cup. For these races, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has recruited, among others, the three-time Le Mans winner, Benoît Tréluyer.
“The Blancpain GT Series is the most prestigious series in Europe. Worldwide, no other GT3 series has so many participants,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “With up to eight Audi R8 LMS cars, our brand is very well represented. We are racing against many strong manufacturers, many of which are competitors to Audi in the sports car market. We are doing our utmost to continue our success story.”
The Sprint Cup begins from April 1 to 2 at Misano (Italy). The season will conclude with the Endurance Cup finale in Barcelona (Spain) on October 1.
The customer teams of Audi Sport in the Blancpain GT Series:
#1 Enzo Ide/Christopher Mies (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) #2 Will Stevens/Markus Winkelhock (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) #3 Jake Dennis/Pieter Schothorst (Team WRT) #5 Marcel Fässler/Dries Vanthoor (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) #17 Robin Frijns/Stuart Leonard (Team WRT) #26 Christopher Haase/Romain Monti (Saintéloc Racing) #74 Kevin Ceccon/Frank Stippler (I.S.R.) #75 Filip Salaquarda/Clemens Schmidt (I.S.R.)
#3 Josh Caygill/John Venter/TBC (Team WRT) #5 Marcel Fässler/Will Stevens/Dries Vanthoor (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) #6 Nathanaël Berthon/Stéphane Richelmi/Benoît Tréluyer (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) #17 Jake Dennis/Robin Frijns/Stuart Leonard (Team WRT) #26 Christian Kelders/Marc Rostan/TBC (Saintéloc Racing) #75 Filip Salaquarda/Clemens Schmidt/Frank Stippler (I.S.R.)
Mattias Ekström is looking forward to the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with confidence. “Last week, we did another three-day test in France and are entering the season superbly prepared,” says the Swede, who is both a driver and the team boss at EKS. “I’m very happy with the development work that was done in winter and our aim for this season is clear: we’d like to win the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the FIA World Rallycross Championship again this year.”
The rallycross track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is located in the stadium section of the circuit and includes two super-fast corners included in Formula 1 races as well – albeit in the opposite direction. It is one of the few tracks with very fast initial corners on tarmac, plus many flat-out sections. “Thinking about last year puts a grin on my face,” says Ekström. At Barcelona, the Swede celebrated his fourth victory of the season in 2016 and laid the foundation for his subsequent world championship win. The basis for the success has been the 560 hp Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, which was technically modified once again for this season.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be broadcast live in 180 countries. Each Sunday of the total of twelve events the channels are going to air a two-hour show with interviews, background reports and the highlights of all four qualifying sessions, plus live footage of the semi-finals and final. Coverage of the season opener at Barcelona will start on Sunday, April 2, at 14:00 CEST. A list of all TV channels is available at www.fiaworldrallycross.com/tv_listings. In selected markets a live stream of World RX will be available online at www.fiaworldrallycross.com/live.