Audi, a prominent player in the electric vehicle market, is reportedly grappling with significant delays in the launch of key models, including the highly anticipated Q6 e-tron. Sources familiar with the matter informed Handelsblatt that the Q6 e-tron, initially slated for launch in summer 2022, is now expected to hit the market in the summer of 2024, marking a considerable two-year delay.
This postponement is said to have a domino effect on Audi's broader model offensive, impacting subsequent releases such as the A6 e-tron. Initially planned for an early 2024 unveiling, the A6 e-tron's launch is now rescheduled for May 2024. This delay places Audi behind premium competitors Mercedes and BMW, who have already introduced their corresponding EQE and i5 electric saloons.
The Q6 e-tron, to be manufactured in Ingolstadt, is significant as it represents Audi's first foray into the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), developed in collaboration with Porsche. Consequently, the delay in the Q6 e-tron launch trickles down to impact other PPE models, including the A6 e-tron.
The reported delays are suggested to be part of a broader strategic revision initiated by Audi's new CEO, Gernot Döllner, who assumed the position on September 1. Described as having a confrontational management style, Döllner is reportedly pushing for swift changes, according to insider accounts. The internal discussions are indicative of a reevaluation of the entire electric model roadmap under his leadership.
In addition to the Q6 e-tron and A6 e-tron series, there are reportedly “intensive discussions” surrounding the successor to the Q8. Originally planned for a 2026 launch, the Q8 e-tron faces potential redesign considerations due to development challenges, likely related to software and mechatronic components. The new plan contemplates designing the vehicle to serve as the foundation for an SUV from VW, slated to succeed the Atlas and exclusively available in the USA and China. The shift in strategy underscores the complexities Audi faces in navigating the competitive electric vehicle landscape under new leadership.