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Audi slows down the development of electric cars and continues to promote plug-in / internal combustion vehicles

2024-06-17 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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According to foreign media reports, Audi will slow down the launch of electric cars in order to avoid the adverse impact on factories and dealers due to the slowdown in sales growth. Audi's new CEO Genot Durna (Gernot Dollner) said that it will continue to promote internal combustion engines and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the short term.

For Audi, 2023 is a critical year for transformation. In March, Audi China officially announced future-oriented production plans: from 2026, Audi will only launch pure electric vehicles for the global market. By 2033, the production of internal combustion engine models will be phased out, when Audi's own production base around the world will be put into the production of electric vehicles.

At the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show in April, Audi China President Wen Zeyue said, "starting this year, Audi will launch the largest product offensive in global history, which is also the most important offensive for future transformation." According to the plan, Audi will launch 20 models worldwide in the next three years, 10 of which are pure electric vehicles.

In June, Oliver Blume, chief executive of Volkswagen Group, admitted that the Audi brand was lagging behind its competitors, especially in electric vehicles, and promised to revive Audi's highlight moment in the future. "We did not defend its leading position in the face of our main competitors because of serious software problems and we had to postpone plans for the release of electric vehicles," Oliver Blume said.

For now, Audi does need to make adjustments. Data show that Audi Group sold a total of 1.405 million vehicles in the first three quarters of 2023, up 16% from the same period last year, of which Audi brand sales were 1.387 million, up 16% from the same period last year. However, the Audi brand did not perform well in the electric market, delivering only 123000 electric vehicles in the first three quarters, up 60 per cent from a year earlier and accounting for 8.8 per cent of the total market share. For comparison, Mercedes-Benz sold 174500 electric cars, accounting for 11.4 per cent of total sales. BMW sold 217000 electric vehicles, accounting for 11.8 per cent of total sales.

At present, China is Audi's largest single market in the world, but it has underperformed its competitors in the Chinese market. Audi's new energy vehicles sold in China include Q2L e-tron, A6L e-tron, Q4 e-tron, e-tron, Q5L e-tron and so on, but the sales performance is not excellent. In the first 11 months of 2023, the Q4 e-tron sold 20596 vehicles, the Q5 e-tron 4416 and the e-tron 1865, according to the Federation of passengers.

In July, Genot Dorner, vice president of product and group strategy of Volkswagen Group, replaced Audi's current CEO Marcus Dussman as Audi's new chief executive. The appointment took effect on September 1. At the same time, in order to achieve better development in the Chinese market, Audi and SAIC agreed in July to speed up the development of electric vehicles through cooperation. The two sides agreed that China's auto market is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, so it will further deepen strategic cooperation and open a new chapter of cooperation to provide a guarantee for win-win results. It has been revealed that this cooperation Audi hopes to obtain three-electricity system, get off the car body, smart driving system and other related technology, but the appearance, interior design and other modeling design is controlled by Audi independently.

Oliver Blume said that Audi's new products, which will be launched next year, will bring huge opportunities for brands. In 2024, Audi will launch the Q6 e-tron, Audi's first electric car based on the Volkswagen PPE architecture, built on the same platform as the Porsche Macan EV.

The new Audi Q6 e-tron means that Audi electrification has entered a new stage, but whether this can be the beginning of Audi's "turnaround" of electrification transformation is not simple at present. In the fiercely competitive Chinese electric car market, Audi's position is far from what it used to be in terms of product strength and influence. With the return of domestic new energy vehicles to market drivers, the real competition has just begun. The key is how Audi finds its own position.

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