Audi to buy 41 percent stake in design company CSI image

Audi plans to buy a 41 percent stake in design specialist CSI Unternehmensgruppe, its second investment in car design specialists in four days.

Earlier this week, Audi announced it had bought a 91 percent stake in design specialist PSW Automotive Engineering. “Engineers at CSI have been a reliable partner for more than ten years,” Michael Dick, Audi’s development chief, said in an e-mailed statement for Bloomberg. The two companies have previously collaborated on the $149,000 R8 sports car.

Founded in 1995, CSI specializes in developing interior and exterior modules for carmakers including Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. The company employs 250 workers at eight German sites including Ingolstadt, where Audi is based, and Wolfsburg, the corporate headquarters of parent company Volkswagen.

The acquisition is being examined by antitrust authorities, Audi said, with the sum being undisclosed. Audi has overtaken Mercedes-Benz in sales this year and aims to dethrone luxury-market leader BMW by 2015. VW’s luxury brand is targeting sales of 2 million vehicles a year by 2020.

PSW Automotive Engineering GmbH, the other design company Audi has bought shares in, is a company with 550 employees that also cooperates with Daimler, VW and BMW. The carmaker didn’t communicate the cost of the acquisition.