The transformation of the automobile industry occurs through multiple expressions. The last one that we know of starring Audi, which is going to sacrifice part of the production of its flagship, the Audi A8, in favor of the electric Audi e-Tron GT.
As Audi has confirmed to the German press, the company is planning a production cut of the Audi A8, its largest and most luxurious model, which is manufactured at the Neckarsulm plant. The company has not specified how many annual units it will cut production, although the German press speaks of around 1,000 vehicles.
The production adjustment of the Audi A8 coincides with an increase in the production of the electric Audi e-Tron GT. According to the director of the plant, Fred Schulze, the increase in the second will compensate for the cut in the first, so that jobs in the factory will not be affected. Another part of the affected employees will be assigned to the production of the A6 in Neckarsulm.
According to the information we currently have, it will be from January when Audi will start manufacturing more units of the electric e-Tron GT. Since its launch, Audi has sold more than 15,000 units of its electric sedan, and electric sales are increasing apace. In the first nine months of the year, Audi delivered 76,989 electric cars (adding all models in its range), an increase of 45% compared to the same period of the previous year.
The good demand for the e-Tron GT contrasts with the poor trend for the Audi A8 in its main market, China. The brand with the four rings has a specific version of the A8 for the Chinese market, the Audi A8 L Horch, which it manufactures in Neckarsulm. It is even longer than the A8 L and more luxurious too, with exclusive details both inside and out. Needless to say, it carries all the equipment imaginable. However, demand from the Chinese market has fallen significantly in recent months. Hence the decision to partially cut its production.
The future electric Audi A8 will not arrive, at least, until 2025
This leads to another interesting question: when will the electric Audi A8 arrive? At the moment there is no news of the electric successor to the A8, even though its two main rivals already have electric versions: the BMW i7 and the Mercedes EQS.
The Volkswagen group planned to hold a round of meetings next November to plan investments and assign models to each plant, but in the end, it will be held in early 2023. It will be then that the German group decides where the future electric A8 is manufactured.
The workers and trade union representatives of the German factory in Neckarsulm, who have long been calling for a greater commitment from the company to the brand’s flagship, are fighting to bring the production of the future successor of the Audi A8 to their factory (whose project is internally called E8/Landyacht). Production of the future electric A8 is scheduled to start in the middle of this decade, close to the most momentous date in Audi’s history. And it is that, from 2026, all the new launches of the German company will be electric.