Audi Considers Pulling Plug on Q8 e-tron as Sales Collapse

Downturn in premium BEV sales blamed for automaker considering and early end to flagship model's series production.

Paul Myles, European Editor

July 10, 2024

2 Min Read
Audi Brussels Q8 e-tron
Audi's Brussels plant facing threat of losing major production model.

Audi could be pulling the plug on European production of its flagship battery-electric fullsize SUV, the Q8 e-tron, because it’s just not selling enough units.

With a starting price in Europe of €83,500 ($89,627) the vehicle is suffering from the twin blows of the recent inflationary cost-of-living crisis and a global downturn in sales of luxury premium BEVs. In a statement, Audi says this greatly affects the future prospects of its Q8 and Q8 Sportback e-tron models and so it is considering ending the production run of the cars at its plant in Brussels, Belgium.

The factory’s board of management has told Audi’s Company Council of its intention to carry out a “restructuring of the site” and that this “may also include a cessation of operations if no alternative is found.”

The Q8 e-tron was Audi’s first foray into BEV production in 2018 but the company says it is now seeing a sharp drop in incoming orders.

Challenges in restructuring the Brussels site include its particular layout and the fact it is very close to the city center, resulting in higher production costs compared to other plants and prompting the automaker to consider ending production of the Q8 e-tron ahead of schedule.

Audi says this announcement “triggers the launch of the information and consultation process where the company management will discuss solutions for the employees and the site together with the responsible social partners and examine alternatives in detail.”

Volker Germann, CEO of Audi Brussels, says: “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.”

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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