Audi Ponders Killing Q8 EV Early to Restructure Brussels


audi ponders killing q8 ev early to restructure brussels

Audi has released a statement of intention to restructure its facility in Brussels over concerns that the electrified Q8 e-tron experienced “a segment-specific intensified drop in demand.” However, restructuring may not be the end result — as the brand stated that a cessation of operations at the site may take place if an alternative solution isn’t found.

Porsche, which is likewise owned by Volkswagen Group, has also seen a decline in demand for its flagship EV. But it’s been discussing further commitments toward electrification, whereas Audi appears to be signaling that things might be more complicated in Belgium.

The company cited a sharp drop in incoming orders for the electric Q8 SUV and added that Volkswagen’s newer PPE (Premium Platform Electric) models may be siphoning sales away its very first all-electric SUV. It also noted that demand was segment specific. Considering that the standard Q8 still seems to be doing decent business, one is left to assume that it’s the electrified e-tron model causing problems.

audi ponders killing q8 ev early to restructure brussels

Nothing has been made certain, however, and the brand has likewise said that the facility (which is technically Volkswagen’s oldest) is particularly difficult to update due to its proximity to the city center. Operating costs are relatively high and any factory expansions aren’t terribly realistic due to its location. Regardless, Audi is obligated by Belgian law to announce any intention of restructuring the facility so it can begin the “information and consultation process.” That applies even if nothing ends up being done.

That said, the Board of Management of Audi Brussels has informed the Company Council of their intentions, noting that it may directly impact employment. As of now, the company is seeking “alternative solutions” for the facility. But a full closure sounds possible, resulting in about 3,000 people being laid off.

“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 dialog is important in the process that will follow. We will take all perspectives into account,” stated Volker Germann, CEO of Audi Brussels.

A replacement for the Q8 e-tron is presently under development. But there have been rumors that it’ll be using a common EV platform that would be easier to produce elsewhere. Regardless, development has not yet concluded and it sounds like the electrified Q8 may be eliminated before its replacement arrives.

audi ponders killing q8 ev early to restructure brussels

[Images: Audi]

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