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Audi’s labour boss criticises plan to make e-tron Quattro in Belgium

21 Jan 2016


Audi's labour boss has criticised the company's plans to focus production of the brand's first mass-produced electric model outside its German home market.

Audi, the luxury division of Volkswagen (VW), had on 20 January said the e-tron Quattro sport-utility vehicle (SUV) would from 2018 be assembled at a plant in Brussels, Belgium, together with batteries that would also be used in other VW group electric models.

The plan forms part of a reshuffle at Audi under which production of the A1 sub-compact would be shifted from Brussels to the Spanish plant of VW's Seat unit and the Q3 compact SUV from Spain to an Audi factory in Hungary.

According to Audi, the move would make Brussels, one of its smallest factories employing about 2,500 workers, a "key factory for electric mobility within the Volkswagen group."

Peter Mosch, the carmaker's top labour representative who also sat on the supervisory boards of Audi and parent VW, criticised the decision.

"What's beyond doubt is that our German plants are the strongest pillars of our success," Mosch said. "Our expertise in development is based here (in Germany) and should stay here. The production of electric models must be driven forward here too."

The models that would be shuffled around include the Audi Q7 and A1, currently being  built in the Belgian plant, both of which would be shifted to Spain.

The Audi Q3 is being currently built at the Spanish plant and production for that would shift to Hungary. According to Audi, this movement of models would preserve workforce integrity even as it made way for the new SUV EV, which itself would fit between the large Audi Q7 and the midsize Audi Q5 and according to commentators that model designation could be designated Audi Q6 e-tron.

The e-tron SUV debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015. The all-electric car is powered by three electric motors, which would have a range of over 311 miles per charge (500 kilometers).

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