Audi chief executive, Rupert Stadler, has said that the company is aiming to achieve a return on capital of more than 10% this year. This compares with 14.2% in 2006.

Stadler told the German language automotive industry publication, Automobilwoche, that '10%' would be a good performance given the heightened competitive conditions. He stressed that the target is 'more than' 10% and the important thing is for sustainable results, rather than 'one-minute wonders'.

In the magazine's view, Audi also remains guarded about its sales levels. In the first half of the year Audi sold more than 500,000 cars, but Stadler would not say if he expected the company to achieve a year early its stated objective of 1m sales a year by 2008. Uncertainties include the introduction of the new A4 and the weak German market in the light of proposed changes to the vehicle taxation system.

Audi is aiming to be the most successful premium car manufacturer in the world by 2015. One key to this, said Stadler, is the company's employees. He told Automobilwoche that Audi is aiming to be amongst the most attractive employers and that it is investing heavily in marketing itself at universities and colleges.