Audi Ponders Killing Q8 EV Early to Restructure Brussels

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.

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.

[Images: Audi]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 6 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy 3 days ago

    Dear Audi, I'll give you $300 for a row of those solar panels.

  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts 2 days ago

    They put the “Q8” name on it, but it doesn’t have either the size or the presence of the gas Q8. It’s way too close to the coming Q6 e-tron.

  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.
  • Varezhka Saving sedans in US or globally? Right now around half of the global sedan sales is in China, just under a quarter in North America, and the remaining quarter distributed around the rest of the world. So for a sedan to stay around they must sell well in both China and North America (BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda) or just extremely well in China (VW/Audi and Nissan). For everyone else, the writing is on the wall. There’s also a niche of subcompact sedans in SE Asia and India but I believe those are being replaced by SUVs too.
  • Kcflyer it's not a ford, it's not a mustang. just like the ford gt is not a ford but multimatic gt or mustang wouldn't roll off the tongue