Audi's supervisory board has approved a total investment package of EUR11.8bn in the company between 2006 and 2011.

Some 71% of this figure, or around EUR8.4bn, will be invested in new Audi vehicles alone, allowing Audi to increase its model range from 22 models at present to 40 by 2015.

From 2007 onwards, investments will rise steadily to around EUR2bn euros a year.

In a statement, Rupert Stadler, board member for finance and acting chairman of the board of management of Audi from January 2007, said: "Investments in new models, in product innovations and core competences are the lifeblood of any company. We can only ensure our corporate success by offering a range of attractive products. This is therefore also an investment in the future of the company and is decisive in safeguarding our jobs."

Audi will be launching several new models or variants next year. The A5 coupé, TT roadster and R8 mid-engine sports car will be among the models to expand the range from 2007 onwards.

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