Audi has decided that there is no longer any room in its range for the large electric SUV Q8 e-tron and its coupé variant Q8 Sportback e-tron.

The overall reduction in orders for the two battery-powered SUVs has persuaded the German company to close the production line at the plant near Brussels where the Q8 e-tron is produced.

Falling sales

The drop in sales of the Audi Q8 e-tron is confirmed by European registration figures from January to May 2024, which according to JATO totalled 6,448 units for the Q8 e-tron (-2%) and 3,011 units for the Q8 Sportback e-tron (-23%).

Audi Q8 e-tron

Audi Q8 e-tron

Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron

Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron

In reality, the sales figures for the two electric SUVs are not that different from those of the Q8 'combustion' car, which recorded 5,233 registrations which is down -36% since the start of the year. Even a direct competitor like the Mercedes EQE SUV has only registered 5,368 vehicles.

Logistics and production cost problems

But that doesn't change the fact that Audi has already decided to close its Belgian plant at Forest, a historic site founded in 1948 by Pierre D'Ieteren to produce first Volkswagen and then Audi cars from 2006.

The brand with the four rings also announced that it would begin negotiations with the works council, unions and social partners for a possible restructuring of the "Audi Brussels" plant and a (probable) definitive closure of production.

L'usine Audi Bruxelles

Among the reasons for the closure, Audi cites the difficulty of updating the plant due to its proximity to the city centre and the high logistics and production costs. This, combined with the meagre orders received by the Q8 e-tron and the imminent arrival of the first electric models based on the EPI platform, led to the decision to 'kill off' what was initially called the e-tron.

Farewell to the first production electric Audi

Indeed, we remember that the Audi Q8 e-tron was born in 2018 under the name Audi e-tron and changed its name from 2023.

Audi e-tron 50 quattro

Audi e-tron 50 quattro

Available with two or three powertrains, Audi's range of large electric SUVs has seen alternating power from 313 to 503 PS over the years, always with quattro all-wheel drive and batteries from 71 to 114 kWh that guarantee a range between 176 and 373 miles. But that's all in the past...