Clever idea, clever implementation: Audi implemented thousands of employee ideas in 2019

“Ideas aren’t low-hanging fruit anymore these days. Many things have already been improved, and a lot has been implemented. And yet: Our Audi employees are not running out of steam; they keep finding plenty of ways to advance our company. In light of the transformation of the automotive industry in particular, this commitment demonstrated by my colleagues is invaluable,” says Marcus Schulte, Head of the Audi Ideas Agency. Klaus Mittermaier, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, adds: “Nobody knows the products and processes at Audi better than those who work here. The Audi employees point out where there is room for improvement or savings potential and thereby help the company save more than EUR 100 million per year. That is truly a remarkable achievement.”

The range of ideas that are submitted is wide – and it is often topics and processes in everyday work procedures that Audi employees tackle with their creative ideas. One example of a concrete improvement that makes work much easier at the company with the four rings is the “Audi Meeting Assistant” that was programmed by computer scientist Michael Luja. Mr. Luja normally works in Development Convenience Electronics – control units are his daily bread. Some time ago, the 35-year-old had an idea that now makes scheduling a lot more efficient for many of his colleagues. The Audi employee had long since been annoyed at how complicated it could sometimes be to enter appointments and meetings in the electronic calendar. It sometimes felt like you were going in circles: If the room was available, the time didn’t suit some participants, and if the participants were all available, there was no room to be found. “As a computer scientist, you think about these things because you know it should really be easier than that,” says Michael Luja. He programmed his prototype for the “Meeting Assistant” in just three weeks and submitted it to the Audi Ideas Program. This is how he came into contact with the IT department. Together with the experts, Michael Luja worked on further developing the Meeting Assistant, allowing other Audi employees to benefit from his idea today, too.

More information on the Audi Ideas Program Historical background and international ideas

Audi has had an employee suggestion system since 1967. The Audi Ideas Program in its current form has existed since 1994. It is a participation program that allows all employees to contribute to the further development of their company. When it comes to ideas management, Audi relies on lean processes: The specialist areas responsible review the suggestions submitted by the employees in a decentralized way and decide directly whether the ideas are to be implemented. An online tool informs the Audi employees of the progress of this process and ensures the necessary transparency and process reliability. And internal Ideas Agency offers advice to the employees and carries out regular competitions and campaigns. The Audi Group has also established ideas programs at its international sites. The employees in Brussels, Győr, and San José Chiapa submitted a total of more than 11,000 ideas in 2019. This allowed the company to save more than EUR 40 million.

Six right ones: Audi with unchanged driver line-up in the DTM 2020

After the most successful DTM season in the company’s history with winning all three championship titles, twelve victories, twelve pole positions, twelve fastest laps and 40 of 54 possible podium finishes, the task for Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass was quite simple. “After such a great season only the famous motto can apply: Never change a winning team! From my point of view, last year we had by far the strongest driver squad in the DTM. That’s why I’m very happy that we can continue to rely on the same six drivers in 2020.”

The spearhead of the line-up is reigning DTM Champion René Rast (33). In his first three DTM years, the German clinched two championship titles, one runner-up title and 17 victories with Audi and is currently the driver to beat in the DTM.

Jamie Green (37) also has 17 DTM victories under his belt. The Brit is already tackling his 16th DTM season. With 193 starts he is the most experienced driver in the squad.

The German Mike Rockenfeller (36) is another DTM Champion on board. The Le Mans winner of 2010 and DTM Champion of 2013 has won six DTM races so far – all with Audi.

Nico Müller (27) is also a multiple DTM race winner. The Swiss was René Rast’s toughest rival in the title fight last season and clinched the runner-up spot in the end.

The Dutchman Robin Frijns (28) was on the podium several times in his first two DTM years with Audi and just barely missed his first DTM victory at the Nürburgring in 2019.

Loïc Duval (37) completes the factory line-up of the four rings in the DTM 2020. The Frenchman looks back on his strongest DTM season to date, which he crowned with a pole position and a podium in the first joint “Dream Race” of the DTM and the SUPER GT at Fuji, Japan.

The line-ups of the three Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline (Frijns/Müller), Phoenix (Duval/Rockenfeller) and Rosberg (Green/Rast) remain unchanged.

Audi Tradition celebrates 40 years of quattro

This year’s program of events will kick off at the Bremen Classic Motorshow (January 31 to February 2). The historical department within AUDI AG will also be flying the flag at the GP Ice Race (February 1 and 2) in Zell am See where an Audi quattro Rallye S1 will be drifted across the frozen lake. The big starting point in the annual program is traditionally the “Techno Classica” classic vehicle show in Essen (March 25 to 29). Audi Tradition will be present in hall 4 of the historical automobile show, where Audi’s theme this year will be “40 years of quattro – everyday all-wheel drive”. The focus of this exhibition will be various former quattro models.

At the Geneva International Motor Show in March 1980, an all-wheel-drive, sporty Coupé caused a massive stir. The Audi quattro was the first high-performance vehicle to be offered with all-wheel drive – a drive system concept which was previously only reserved for use in trucks and off-roaders. The idea for this four-wheel-drive passenger car arose in the winter of 1976/77 during test drives for the VW Iltis off-roader which was being developed by Audi for the German army. The excellent driving characteristics of this off-road vehicle on ice and in snow led engineers to the idea of installing the all-wheel drive system of the VW Iltis in a series-production Audi 80.

The subsequent tests were especially impressive. And the result was a sporty Audi Coupé by the name of quattro. Its 147 kW/200 hp of power came from a more powerful variant of the 2.2-liter five-cylinder turbo engine presented in Fall 1979.

The Audi quattro made its motorsport debut at the beginning of 1981 at the Jänner Rallye in Austria. The all-wheel-drive powerhouse from Ingolstadt revolutionized the international rally and racing scene from that point on.

Reason enough, then, for Audi Tradition to bring some of its historical Audi quattro models – rally and street versions – out of storage for this year’s event season. Classic events on Audi Tradition’s program include the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England (July 9 to 12), the Eifel Rallye Festival in Daun (July 23 to 25), Classic Days at Schloss Dyck in Jüchen (July 31 to August 2), the home events Donau Classic (June 18 to 20) in Ingolstadt and Heidelberg Historic (July 9 to 11) near Neckarsulm, not to mention the Sachsen Classic show at the company’s historic Zwickau location (August 13 to 15). The brand with the four rings will also be represented at the Rossfeld hillclimb in Berchtesgaden (September 25 to 27), as well as at Audi RegioSprint in Ingolstadt (April 25) and, for the first time ever, at the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix (August 1 and 2). Historic motorcycles and an Auto Union Typ C can be seen and heard at Sachenring Classic in Hohenstein-Ernstthal (May 8 to 10). The season will be rounded out by the model car fairs in the Audi Forum Neckarsulm (November 8) and Ingolstadt (November 29).

Audi Anniversary Dates 2020

40 years ago, the company with the four rings presented the Audi quattro and in doing so caused quite a stir at the Geneva International Motor Show. This was the first time ever that a high-performance, sporty Coupé (147 kW/200 hp) was available with all-wheel drive – a drive concept which was previously only reserved for use in trucks and off-road vehicles. The idea arose in the winter of 1976/77 during test drives for the VW Iltis off-roader which Audi was developing for the German army. The excellent driving characteristics of this model on ice and snow led the engineers to the idea of installing an all-wheel drive system in a series-production Audi 80. Its motorsport debut in the Audi quattro came a year later and revolutionized the international rally scene.

20 years ago, AUDI AG won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time. Since the beginning of this century, the brand has gone on to bring home a total of 13 victories. 30 years ago saw the premiere of the Audi V8 in the DTM German Touring Car Championships, where the car would go on to win the season. 25 years ago, the brand from Ingolstadt presented its Coupé concept for the Audi TT at the IAA in Frankfurt. 110 years ago, the first Audi car was launched on the market: the 10/22 PS. Called the Typ A internally within the company, the Phaeton was developed by August Horch and Hermann Lange. 70 years ago in August 1950, the first DKW passenger car since the Second World War rolled off the production line in the then Düsseldorf plant. It’s also been 50 years since the Ingolstadt location’s technical development building was ready for the team to move in.

Equally worth remembering are the following dates: 30 years since the Audi Duo hybrid vehicles; 30 years since the Audi S2 Coupé; 30 years since the Audi 100/C4 – the first six-cylinder Audi; 50 years since the market launch of the Audi 100 Coupé S; 135 years since the Audi predecessor company Wanderer was established; 140 years since the Neckarsulm location opened.

A complete overview can be found in the anniversary booklet online in the Audi MediaCenter.

Audi and Maisie Williams invite the world to “Let It Go” and embrace electric future in Game Day spot

Launched during one of the world’s biggest cultural moments, the commercial follows Williams, a vocal advocate for action on climate change, as she sings her own interpretation of the hit song “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” Oscar® and Grammy®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez penned “Let It Go” for the Oscar®-winning animated film “Frozen.”

In the ad, Williams gets behind the wheel of her Audi e-tron Sportback and finds herself stuck at an intersection, which represents a crossroads of today’s preconceptions and old notions of consumption, success, and status. Williams chooses to reverse course and leave it all behind, breaking into the familiar lyrics of “Let It Go” as she drives towards a more sustainable future. Along the way, fellow drivers, pedestrians, and others join in, representing the brand’s efforts to usher in a new era of sustainable mobility. The journey is a metaphor for how the decision to make more sustainable choices takes all of us doing our part.

Recorded by Williams at the acclaimed Abbey Road Studios in London, the reinterpretation of “Let It Go” lends a strong storytelling element to the ad. It is a new, more defiant take on a song that took the world by storm, but still showcases that transformation always starts with letting go of something old to create something new. In this case, moving toward a more sustainable future.

“The biggest night in American football, and one of the last truly live global television events, serves as the perfect moment to share our strategic path toward sustainable premium mobility with a worldwide audience,” said Sven Schuwirth, Head of Brand Audi, Digital Business and Customer Experience. “Maisie Williams is the perfect representative of how consumers are increasingly choosing, and advocating for, transportation options that are more sustainable. As a creative innovator, she perfectly embodies millions of peoples’ desires to make the transition to an electric future.”

“Creating a sustainable, livable future for generations to come is the world’s most important challenge. I’m proud to share Audi’s vision for sustainable mobility in this global brand campaign,” said Williams.

Recharging Vorsprung durch Technik

This commercial is the first installment in a new global brand campaign from Audi aiming to recharge the “Vorsprung durch Technik” (Lead by Technology) tagline with new meaning. To strengthen and unify the brand promise, for the first time ever, the ad will also roll out across TV and social media channels in multiple markets including Germany, Italy, France, U.K., Spain, and China.

The ad also aims to plant a firm stake in the ground about the brand’s ambition to unleash the beauty of sustainable mobility. Globally, Audi plans to introduce around 30 electrified vehicles by 2025, and that is only the starting point of a reinvention that will touch many brand-relevant topics that go beyond the car itself. Audi’s big ambition: to become a CO2-neutral company on balance by 2050. Many of the projects that will work to achieve these goals, such as the production plant for the Audi e-tron in Brussels, that has been certified as CO2-neutral, are featured on

Over the course of this year, several additional chapters of the global brand campaign will cover strategic topics such as electrification, connectivity, customer experience, and design. The intention is to systematically rejuvenate the brand, and in particular, build awareness and attract new audiences by emphasizing topics like sustainable mobility as new forms of luxury.

Within the global Audi Group, this brand campaign project is being driven in an agile network with colleagues from all over the world. 72andSunny Amsterdam as a creative agency will be Audi’s global partner for the full campaign, which will roll out throughout 2020.

Notes to Editors

Quote from 72andSunny Amsterdam 
“Partnering with Audi at such an exciting time for their brand and for the category is exactly the type of challenge we love”, says Rey Andrade, Executive Creative Director, 72andSunny Amsterdam. “With this campaign we’re looking to turn that ambition into work that takes what Audi has done so well for so long, design led and brave ideas, and put that into a fun and progressive context. At a time where people might be looking to shed out-dated conventions and ideas we are trying to bring some modernity and frankly some fun. So it was obvious that we needed to turn to the world of “Frozen” and ice-cold princesses. With “Let It Go” we have the iconic anthem for defiant and brave reinvention and with Maisie we have an equally tenacious and charmingly defiant performance. We’re looking forward to setting a standard of ambitious and progressively minded work with our new friends. Let the storm rage on!”

Creative Agency: 72andSunny Amsterdam
Production Company: ANORAK
Director: FrançoisRousselet
Editorial: Paul Hardcastle (Trim)
Post Production: MPC
Audio: 750mph
Music Supervision, Direction and Clearance: Amp.Amsterdam
Music Arrangement and Production of re-recording: The Elements Music

About 72andSunny Amsterdam 
72andSunny is a global creative agency that believes unignorable creativity is the most powerful force in business. With offices in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore and Sydney, 72andSunny is on a mission to expand and diversify the creative class. 72andSunny has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for two years in a row and is a two-time “Agency of the Year” winner for Advertising Age and Adweek. For more information, visit