Audi may kill MLB platform due to Dieselgate saga as investments for future developments are under scrutiny due to the huge losses endured by the parent VW group
According to German business magazine Der Spiegel, the Ingolstadt-manufacturer’s boss Rupert Stadler has revealed that investments for future developments are under scrutiny due to the huge losses endured by the parent group Volkswagen because of the emission cheating scandal. The cost-saving measures meant that Audi won’t be developing its own platforms. The VW board is reportedly planning a meeting on November 18 to finailse the financial involvements of the auto companies coming under the group.
Audi may have to give up on the in-house engineered MLB platform, which demands special transmission systems and modified VW group engines, as well as abandoning plans for new wind tunnel and crash testing facility. The MLB platform is so crucial for Audi as important models in the A-series come under that flexible architecture. The mid-engined platform underpinning the R8 supercar is likely to be dropped as well and it may not get a replacement.
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Moreover, Audi’s involvement in motorsport with the LMP1 factory and customer programs may get cancelled too.
Some publications report that a technology campus at the Ingolstadt HQ mimicking Apple brand won’t come into fruition as well. Christened as INovation-Campus, it was supposed to contain 75 buildings but the news that the web pages hosting the plans have been taken off the internet further fuels the rumour.
The reason behind this massive cost-slashing is that Volkswagen wants to reduce its overall running costs by ten percent in just 12 months while improving production efficiency by 5-8 percent within that space removing third and weekend shifts. A German local newspaper said Audi has already been cutting the working shifts for models built on the MLB platform.
The forthcoming Audi A4 and A5 are said to be based on the transverse-engined MQB platform of Volkswagen Passat while the bigger A6 and A7 to follow Porsche’s MSB architecture utilized by Panamera implying rear or four-wheel drive system for both the models. Despite relying on VW for future models the brand value and identity will be kept as the cost-cutting implementation could benefit Audi by reducing billions in research and development.