Carmaker Audi has lowered the 2019 production forecast for its Brussels plant where it builds the electric e-tron, by more than 10.000 cars to 45.242 units.
While Audi does not officially comment, internal sources say battery deliveries are not going as planned. According to the same sources, the manufacturer is postponing the next electric car from Audi, the e-tron Sportback production to 2020.
Audi Brussels only produces electric cars, like the new e-tron. Batteries for the model come from LG, which caters to many automotive manufacturers. Because of its dominant position, LG is pushing up prices. The VW Group, which includes Audi, is in post-dieselgate austerity and has trouble competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz to get batteries from LG.
Besides battery delivery shortages, slow delivery of electric engines is to blame for production delays. This is due to the recent strike at the Audi plant in Györ (Hungary), where the engines are produced.
The plant is running 6 hours a day instead of 8 to match production to parts availability. But soon, the plant will go to a 4-day working week, leading to one day of technical unemployment.
Delivery times for the e-tron have gone up by 2 months to 6 to 7 months. “Not an exceptional waiting time for an all-new Audi”, says Audi’s spokesperson in Belgium, Sofie Luyckx. During the Brussels Motor Show in January, delivery times of 4 to 5 months were assumed. It is not clear if the 2 additional months are due to production capacity or high demand (up 15%).