Home Life & Style Disaster for Audi as major European factory could close as EV sales...

Disaster for Audi as major European factory could close as EV sales plummet

Audi is considering ending production of its latest electric car and could close one of its European factories due to a lack of demand for EV models. 

The iconic German firm said they were “considering the early end of production” at its Brussels base as part of a restructuring. 

Audi said the decision was down to a “global decline in customer orders in the electric luxury class”. 

This will affect the brand’s Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron models which are produced at the Belgian factory. 

Audi explained the Q8 e-tron models “ran very successfully worldwide for many years”. However, they stressed the “company is now seeing a drop in demand for the Q8 e-tron.”

Volker Germann, CEO of Audi Brussels said: “The announcement of the intention does not mean that a decision has been made. 

“Nevertheless, this news has been felt very profoundly by the employees in Brussels and by me too. A transparent and constructive dialogue is important in the process that will follow. We will take all perspectives into account.”

The brand said a loss of interest in the Q8-e tron had “resulted in a sharp drop in incoming orders” which had led to its decision.

Meanwhile, Audi explained there were “long-standing structural challenges” at the Brussels site. 

They revealed the plant layout was “difficult to change” due to the production facility’s location close to the city centre.

The manufacturer also added the site also saw “high logistics costs” which led to higher production fees compared to other sites.

Audi added the latest news could have an impact on employment which hints at potential job losses at the site.

Meanwhile, they made clear the news could “include a cessation of operations if no alternative is found”.

Rita Beck, spokesperson for the Audi Committee in the European VW Group Works Council, explains: “The employee representatives of AUDI AG are calling for long-term prospects for the plant and our colleagues in Brussels. 

“Audi management must take responsibility for the site. We hope that a viable and sustainable solution will be reached in the course of the consultation process that has now been initiated.”

It’s just the latest manufacturer to question the future of electric vehicles after Aston Martin and Ford sounded warnings. 

Aston Martin boss Lawrence Stroll plans to keep selling petrol and diesel models into the future while Ford’s Jim Farley said they would only invest in EVs if they were profitable.


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