Battery shortage forces Audi Brussels to slow down
At the moment, there is no technical unemployment at the plant. Nevertheless, the plant is running 6 hours a day instead of 8 to match production to parts availability. But soon, the plant will go to a 4-day working week with one day of technical unemployment.
Delivery times for the e-tron have gone up by 2 months to 6 to 7 months. “Not an exceptional waiting time for an all-new Audi”, says Audi’s spokesperson in Belgium, Sofie Luyckx. During the Brussels Motor Show in January, delivery times of 4 to 5 months were given. It is not clear if the 2 month addition is due to production capacity or high demand, up 15%.
Obtaining a sufficient number of battery cells is a general problem in the automotive industry. Even Tesla is not spared. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, said this weekend that the battery production at Panasonic has limited the Model 3’s production since June, adding: “We have no other choice than to use other battery suppliers”.
Tesla signed an agreement with Panasonic in 2014 to invest 4,5 billion dollar in a giga-factory battery plant in Nevada. Goal was not to have to import batteries in Asia anymore, but to produce them locally. At the present, Musk says not to want to invest anymore until Panasonic ups its production capacity.
Meanwhile, Europe still doesn’t have a battery factory and has to source its cells elsewhere. Japanese, Chinese and Korean players are dominating the battery market.