The Audi plant in Brussels is again experiencing difficulties. It officially announced that in the first quarter of 2020, 4,100 - 5,700 less electric vehicles will be produced, because the manufacturer is experiencing problems with suppliers of parts.
Now the plant works only 6 hours a day instead of the prescribed eight. According to the company representative, the delay in deliveries can be from 2 to 6-7 months.
This problem cannot go unnoticed. So Twitter user Patrick Seelbach, drew attention to the fact that due to the difficulties that Audi is experiencing, workers will be dismissed from the factory.
The German @handelsblatt article says that @Audi has problems with one supplier and is producing less #etron than expected. Therefore some hundred workers are fired. It's not that easy to build EVs....@cleantechnica@Model3Ownershttps://t.co/c4hEydHSmi— Patrick Seelbach (@PatrickSeelbach) January 25, 2020
At the moment, we are talking about 145 workers who will have to be fired. Initially, according to information from European media, the leadership wanted to send 250 workers to temporary resignation. The names of the respective workers will be announced this Saturday.
A management meeting with unions is scheduled next Wednesday "to guarantee the future and employment for workers," according to the General Federation of Belgian Labor (FGTB). Trade unions will especially struggle to ensure that the number of frozen jobs is not brought to 250, as originally planned by management of the plant. FGTB especially asks Audi for employment guarantees until 2025, "which would soothe the spirit."
The Brussels plant produces Audi's first all-electric car, a large SUV called the e-tron, and its e-tron Sportback coupe variant. The Belgian news agency Belga reported that the company pointed out the difficulties of the supplier of parts necessary for installing batteries in electric SUVs, as a reason. The Belgian newspaper L'Echo claims that it is probably about the problem is with the supplier of LG Chem.
“The Audi e-tron and Audi Sportback are our first all-electric cars. This is a new drive technology for which we work with 300 suppliers. Therefore, collaboration is difficult. We were faced with an unexpected situation. We have taken steps to stabilize supplies,” said plant spokesman Peter D’hoore.
Audi executives really expected an increase in production this year. Productivity was supposed to increase to 24 cars per hour. This is not the first time that Audi has problems delivering battery components. The company also works with Samsung, but it obviously doesn't solve all the problems. Audi will also adjust production plans for this year and reduce the volume of manufactured vehicles by more than 10 thousand cars to 45,242 units.
Other manufacturers have the same problem. The first electric Mercedes-Benz, the EQC, also suffers from a clear lack of battery components. Car manufacturers collect their batteries, but actually buy items from Asian suppliers. Several press articles indicated that the EQC was a failure, especially in Germany. “This car is not a failure. We just had supply problems,” said Niels Kowollik, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Benelux.
The battery is the heart of any electric car, so it is so important to take this issue extremely seriously. Audi is experiencing these problems because it doesn't have its own production or a reliable supplier. When a company relies on 300 different suppliers to make it possible to create a battery, this can naturally cause big problems.
At the moment, all automakers are far behind Tesla, both in software issues and in the creation of high-quality batteries. It is these two parameters that make the California based company an unattainable competitor for any automaker. The creation of high-quality batteries is the result of Tesla's many years of work. The company constantly invests in research and development of this component of the car.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.