Audi confirmed that it is temporarily suspending production of its e-tron electric SUV due to supply problems. Battery cell supply issues are suspected.
The e-tron is Audi’s first all-electric vehicle built from the ground up.
The electric SUV has been fairly well-received, but the German automaker has been having issues with high-volume production.
Last year, shortly after starting volume production, local reports from Belgium, where Audi is producing the vehicle, claimed that the automaker reduced planned e-tron production due to a battery shortage.
Now, new reports from Belgium and Germany state that Audi confirmed that it is suspending production for four days due to “bottlenecks in the parts supply,” according to Manager Magazin.
The automaker didn’t want to confirm the nature of those bottlenecks or the parts affected, but they did confirm that it’s not related to the coronavirus and parts coming from China.
As was the case before, battery cell supply, which Audi is getting from LG Chem for the e-tron, is suspected to be the cause of the production delay.
Audi is not the only automaker to have its electric car production affected by battery supply.
We previously reported on Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Jaguar having issues ramping up production and even suspending production of their own electric vehicles at times.
Audi is also trying to expand its e-tron lineup, with the Sportsback version of the e-tron SUV coming later this year.
The vehicle is also being produced at the German automaker’s Belgium factory alongside the e-tron and adding to the demand for parts.
Some of the reports suggest that Audi was planning to produce as many as 70,000 units between the two vehicles this year, but they have now revised that number to 40,000 units.
Again, to be clear, Audi confirmed that they are suspending e-tron production for a few days, but they didn’t confirm why beyond “part supply problems.”
Battery-cell supply is only speculation at this point, but it wouldn’t be surprising to me.
It looks like LG Chem accepted too many contracts for their supply capacity right now.
It all goes back to what I’ve been saying for years: Securing battery supply is the most critical part of enabling the electric revolution.
Giving contracts to battery manufacturers is not enough anymore. Automakers need to be increasingly involved throughout the entire battery-cell supply chain.
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