Audi’s Model Rollout Hit by Delays: Software Woes and Leadership Changes

Audi's Model Rollout Hit by Delays: Software Woes and Leadership Changes
(Image: Audi)

Audi is facing setbacks due to its aging lineup, which was supposed to have seen new vehicles hit the market by now. However, according to Handelsblatt, there are further delays in both electric and combustion engine models.

The production start of the Q6 E-Tron, the sister model of the Porsche Macan, has been repeatedly postponed. Audi is now aiming for a sales launch in the summer of 2024, further delaying the brand’s model offensive. The Handelsblatt, citing insiders, reports that other crucial electric cars like the A6 E-Tron are also slated for a later release.

Software issues hampering development

The primary cause behind these delays is attributed to software problems affecting the quality and completion of the vehicles. These issues extend across Volkswagen and other brands within the VW Group. Additionally, a shortage of experienced software developers is compounding the problem. Integrating the software into the vehicles is proving to be a challenge as well.

“Audi hasn’t forgotten how to build cars. The developers simply underestimated the complexity of mechatronics and software development. Later on, organizational mistakes from the high-pressure top management compounded the issues. That’s why everything is now delayed by weeks or months,” quotes Handelsblatt, citing a knowledgeable source.

New CEO tasked with cleanup

To rectify the situation, VW CEO Oliver Blume has appointed Gernot Döllner as the new Audi CEO. The former Porsche executive is expected to take stringent internal measures to regain control over the development process. His predecessor, Markus Duesmann, lost credibility in this regard.

Q7 delayed until 2025

The delays aren’t limited to electric models alone. Even combustion engines like the Q7 are facing significant delays, with production now expected to commence only by late 2025. Audi is under pressure as the development of new combustion engines will cease by 2026.

Battle against competitors

These setbacks pose a significant challenge for Audi in its competition against rivals. Both BMW and Mercedes regularly introduce new models, while Audi appears outdated. The restructuring efforts aim to propel the brand forward. Failing to do so will result in VW lacking the much-needed profits for its shift toward electric vehicles.

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Mark Brannon
Tech journalist Mark Brannon explores the digital frontier, delivering engaging news and in-depth features on cutting-edge innovations and industry developments.