In times of financial crisis many car companies halt development and try to ride out the storm with their existing products, but this is not the approach Audi is taking. Instead, the German company will be cutting back on almost everything except for product development, which will remain unchanged from last year's expenditure of €1.8 billion.

Speaking with Automotive News, Audi's head of global sales and marketing, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said the company wants to "continue to develop" its products and that it would "rather scale back other investments" than hinder development of any new models. This change in attitude reflects significantly in Audi’s planned investments for 2009. Whereas in 2008 product development took up 70% of planned investments, this year that figure will be closer to 90%.

All this money being spent on new products means that Audi's stable will increase in size from 28 models and trim levels to around 40 by the end of seven years. This means a slew of new Audi products should be heading for dealerships, even though certain commentators might be convinced that the company has already covered almost every niche.

In order to keep product spending at such a high level, Audi will have to reduce expenditure elsewhere as 2009 is expected to be one of the toughest years on record for the auto industry. This may result in scaling back in other areas, such as advertising, manufacturing and labor.