Audi Thanks Staff with $9,000 Bonus

Company sold 1.09 million vehicles in 2010, a gain of 15% from 2009

Luxury car maker Audi, a unit of Volkswagen, said on March 3 that its staff of 42,500 would receive an average bonus of 6,513 euros ($9,053) as thanks for strong results last year.

The payment, Audi's biggest bonus ever, will cost the company 276.8 million euros, a statement said.

Like rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Audi was boosted last year by sales in China, and sold a total of 1.09 million vehicles worldwide, a gain of 15% from 2009, a particularly bad year for the auto sector.

Audi workers in Brussels and Gyoer, northern Hungary, are to receive an additional bonus equivalent to a month's salary, the company added.

In January, the parent group of Mercedes-Benz said its workers would get two bonuses, including one of 3,150 euros related to the 2010 results.

The second, of up to 1,000 euros, was meant to celebrate "the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile" by company founder Carl Benz.

German companies have favored paying bonuses over pay increases to keep wages competitive with foreign rivals.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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