With relations between Germany and South Africa strengthened even further by the German government’s commitment of over R6 billion to support South Africa’s Just Energy Transition, Audi Board Member Hildegard Wortmann is visiting the country to celebrate the brand’s long-standing presence in the market and chart a new path for a more sustainable automotive future.

Wortmann is part of the Board of Management and responsible for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG, as well as a member of the Extended Executive Committee for the Volkswagen Group. She plays an active role in shaping the transformation to a more electric and sustainable future of mobility. “The automotive industry is facing the biggest upheaval in decades: becoming more sustainability-focused, digitally integrated and geared towards blending with emerging customer needs,” says Wortmann. “Audi has a long history in South Africa and now we’re working on accelerating the transformation to an electrically powered, digitally enhanced brand, shaping the future of premium mobility.”

Audi’s ‘four rings’ represent a rich heritage of progressive passion, and now they are an emblem of revolutionising personal mobility around the topics of Sustainability, Digitalisation, Performance and Design to forge a new and exciting future. “It’s in this spirit of innovation, spurred on by the co-operation between the German and South African governments, that we’re investing in the country’s onward journey in the premium automotive space,” says Wortmann. “That doesn’t mean simply offering our customers a range of EVs, but rather a broader and longer-term strategy to create an ecosystem that incorporates convenient charging, seamless navigating, predictive maintenance, autonomous driving services and more.” South Africa has a track record of leapfrogging more developed countries in the adoption of certain technologies and a similar opportunity exists in the areas of renewable energy and therefore electric vehicles.

Joining Wortmann on her visit is Andre Konsbruck, Vice President for Sales Overseas, who says that Audi continues to make impactful contributions to EV adoption in South Africa. “Audi’s two phases of investment in charging infrastructure demonstrates our commitment to the transition of South Africa towards EV technology,” he says. “We’re also taking a lead role in conversations that progress the future of mobility. The first steps toward that future in this country started last year with the introduction of the e-tron range, and the journey will accelerate in the months and years to come, thanks to these investments and the rollout of further exciting products.”

Electric vehicles are no longer a distant possibility; they’re a distinct certainty that links motoring enjoyment to environmental mindfulness. As the age of the internal combustion engine comes to an end, Audi is committed to the exciting possibilities of sustainable mobility led by electric innovation.

Audi believes that the ‘future is an attitude’ because the future is created through the ability to embrace transformation and see the potential that this new era presents.

Audi launched the first models in its fully-electric e-tron range in South Africa in February last year, with more set to follow in the near future. To support its local rollout of EV’s, and to advance the adoption of EVs in South Africa in general, Audi partnered with GridCars early in 2022 and with Rubicon in recent months to set up a total of 127 new EV charge connectors across 76 chargers to expand the existing public charging network in South Africa for all electric vehicle drivers. This cements Audi’s place as an EV leader in the country and drives the brand’s transition to all-electric vehicle production within the coming years.

As part of their visit, Wortmann and Konsbruck will engage with various business partners and participate in a discussion about digital innovations and sustainability solutions in a South African context alongside industry thought leaders and trailblazers in these areas.

Watch Fifi Peters from CNBC Africa interview Hildegard Wortmann and Andre Konsbruck here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL4_I5aQe_4