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June 6, 2007

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Brussels now part of the Audi family: Audi takes over management responsibility at Brussels plant

  • Ceremony with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt

  • New production capacity for further growth

  • Start of Audi A3 production with 30,000 cars a year

  • Production of Audi A1 from end of 2009

  • Audi Brussels to become important hub within Group

The Audi success story continues: following today’s ceremony at Audi Brussels, the Audi family now has a new member. With a workforce of around 2,200, the Brussels plant is to be integrated into the Audi production network.

“We are putting the plant into good and safe hands,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG.

For Audi, the new plant is one of the requirements for achieving its strategic goal of building 1.5 million cars a year by 2015. Moreover, the production “turntable” between Ingolstadt and Brussels will open up the possibility for further increasing flexibility between the two plants.

With the plant currently undergoing restructuring, the production volume of Audi Brussels will be around 84,000 vehicles this year. From the end of 2009, the Audi A1 will be built exclusively in Brussels.

The framework conditions for a new collective agreement are laid down in a letter of intent, which was signed by the company management of AUDI AG and the Belgian trade unions on 12th March in Ingolstadt. Along with a 20 percent reduction in labour costs by 2009, these include a guarantee of jobs until 2010, flexible working hours on the basis of working time accounts, an income guarantee, a share in company profits, innovative work organisation, a more attractive workplace, through preventative health management for example, and training for the workforce. Widuckel: “The agreement is valid without any qualification, and will be implemented in every respect."

Negotiations for the collective agreement should be completed by the end of June. More than 76 percent of the workforce already voted in favour of the procedure in a referendum in March. “A clear verdict,” according to Alfons Dintner, spokesman of the Audi Brussels management. “The Brussels plant is determined to emerge from the restructuring process stronger and with a secure future ahead of it.” A further advantage is that Audi has already built the Audi A3 successfully at the Brussels plant between autumn 2004 and the end of 2005 and is therefore “best equipped for the new Audi era,” says Dintner.

Audi Brussels Ceremony: Jung (left), Widuckel, Dreves (right)

The Brussels plant fits perfectly into Audi’s turntable concept. Producing volume models in two locations – such as the Audi A3 Sportback in Ingolstadt and Brussels – enables the company to respond flexibly to fluctuations in demand. This ensures a constant level of capacity utilisation at the plants and enables jobs to be protected in the long term. “Following complete restructuring, this production plant will have the potential to play a leading role in the car industry,” says Audi Board Member for Production, Frank Dreves.

All Photos: Audi

(May 30, 2007)

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