Despite facing challenging economic circumstances, particularly in its home market of Europe, Audi has committed to investing 13 billion euros ($17.2 billion) through 2016 on developing new products and technology as well as upgrading and constructing new production facilities.

A bulk of the investment, approximately $10.6 billion, will be spent in Germany alone, primarily at Audi’s facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

The automaker is also expanding capacities at plants in Hungary and China, and from 2016 onwards its cars will also be manufactured at a new plant in Mexico.

The significant investment program is part of the automaker’s ambitious goal to become the top-selling luxury automotive brand by 2020. The target is two million vehicles annually, up from an estimated new record of more than 1.4 million vehicles this year.

Key areas where Audi is focused on improving its vehicles include lightweight design and construction as well as electric mobility. At the same time, Audi is committed to improving the efficiency of its conventional powertrains.

Audi is also focused on developing its own sustainable fuels and is currently constructing a new plant in Germany to generate hydrogen and natural gas using only water, CO2 and wind energy. The plant is expected to come online next year.

It is hoped the combination of innovative and advanced vehicles plus a focus on social and environmental concerns will help attract customers to the brand. Given the current financial situation in many parts of the world, Audi’s record sales prove it’s on a winning strategy.

Of course, its arch rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz are implementing similar strategies in their quest for market dominance, making this an interesting race to watch.