Audi's electrical automobile manufacturing unit is faltering – and Volkswagen is contemplating breaking the taboo | EUROtoday

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DAudi's plant within the Belgian capital Brussels is a relatively small automobile manufacturing unit, however a really costly one. For years, just one mannequin has been manufactured right here, the electrical Q8 e-tron, which was the primary electrical Audi to be launched in 2018. Now, with the top of the car, the lights within the manufacturing unit may additionally exit.

The firm has began a legally required worker participation course of to “develop alternative solutions for the plant,” as Audi says. “This may include ceasing operations.”

For the Volkswagen Group, closing the plant could be a taboo-breaking transfer. The firm has not closed a automobile manufacturing unit for many years. Most just lately, factories belonging to the truck subsidiary MAN had been bought to buyers who’re persevering with to function them.

The way forward for the Brussels website has been below dialogue for a while. In June, the worldwide works council known as on Audi administration, led by CEO Gernot Döllner, to shortly discover a “sustainable solution to secure the future” of the manufacturing unit. “We will not agree to any measures that endanger the preservation of the site,” warned the worker representatives.

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Around 3,000 folks work on the plant and produced 53,555 automobiles final yr. The machines are designed to supply greater than twice that quantity. But demand for the Q8 e-tron has just lately collapsed. Audi stories a “sharp drop in incoming orders.”

This is much less as a result of declining electrical automobile market in Germany, however primarily because of competitors from inside the firm: With the brand new Q6 e-tron, Audi has launched an electrical automobile that’s technologically superior to its six-year-old sister mannequin. This is why manufacturing of the electrical Q8 could also be discontinued by the top of subsequent yr.

Further burdens for Volkswagen

In addition to the restructuring or closure in Brussels, there are two different unexpected prices that may price the VW Group a complete of 1.7 billion euros this yr. In addition, earlier plans didn’t embrace the 900 million euro pot from which VW pays severance funds to workers who depart the corporate voluntarily.

In view of those further prices, CFO Arno Antlitz has lowered the return expectation for the present yr. Instead of seven to 7.5 %, the margin is now anticipated to be between 6.5 and seven %.

In addition to the restructuring in Brussels, the war-related separation from the Russian monetary subsidiary Volkswagen Bank Rus and the closure of the gasoline turbine enterprise of the subsidiary MAN Energy Solutions price a number of hundred million euros. VW really needed to promote the gasoline turbine division with 120 workers to a Chinese firm. However, the customer in China is related to the navy there and, in accordance with consultants, the turbine know-how may also be utilized in navy automobiles or ships.

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According to MAN Energy Solutions, the sort of use doesn’t make sense, which the corporate backed up with skilled stories. Nevertheless, the federal authorities banned the deal. Now VW is drawing the results and shutting the realm, which is predicted to price round 100 million euros.

Analysts reacted positively to the bulletins. They see them as a part of VW's price effectivity program, in accordance with Jefferies. “Any reduction in VW's high European cost base will likely be largely welcomed by the market,” say the observers at Bernstein. They level out that, in accordance with information from the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), an hour of labor in Belgium price a mean of 45.68 euros final yr, which was considerably decrease than the prices in Germany (62.44 euros), however far greater than Spain with 29.45 euros per hour and Hungary (16.39 euros).

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In order to show embedded content material, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of private information is critical, for the reason that suppliers of the embedded content material as third-party suppliers require this consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the swap to “on”, you conform to this (revocable at any time). This additionally consists of your consent to the switch of sure private information to 3rd international locations, together with the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can discover extra details about this at . You can revoke your consent at any time utilizing the swap and by way of privateness on the backside of the web page.

Such figures will play a job within the coming weeks when VW CEO Oliver Blume's board of administrators haggles with the works councils, the state and the homeowners in Wolfsburg over the funding plan for the subsequent 5 years. These negotiations at VW at all times happen within the autumn and give attention to which automobiles will likely be constructed through which plant.

The Audi website in Brussels has come up empty-handed lately, and now it wants a brand new mannequin to outlive. But the group's different crops are additionally not working at full capability. Shifts needed to be canceled within the pure electrical automobile factories in Zwickau and Emden, and in Wolfsburg, combustion engines will proceed to be constructed as an alternative of electrical vehicles in the meanwhile.

Investors are apparently speculating that the managers round Blume will be capable of push by their austerity measures and that the decline in income this yr will repay sooner or later. At lunchtime, VW shares had been buying and selling in optimistic territory regardless of the damaging information.

https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article252451746/Audis-E-Auto-Werk-wankt-und-Volkswagen-erwaegt-den-Tabubruch.html