Volkswagen’s unit stopped making cars at its Brussels plant on Tuesday, following the deadly terrorist attacks on the city.
On Tuesday, Audi told its employees from the afternoon shift at the Brussels plant to stay at home after the Belgian government recommended its citizens not to go on streets, following the attacks on the city’s airport and metro station. At that time, Audi said it would wait for police advice before deciding on what to do next and, in addition, it took extra security measures at the factory, which employs about 2,500 workers in the south west of the city. The late shift was scheduled to build about 250 units of Audi’s A1 subcompact car, a number that the brand fully expects can be recovered later.
VW’s premium brand said in January it would start a restructuring process of its production, announcing that Audi A1, which is currently produced in Brussels, will be built in Seat’s Martorell plant in Spain starting with 2018. The Brussels production line has been cleared for Audi to exclusively produce on site, as of 2018, the first battery electric SUV from the brand with the four rings. The Belgian plant will also have its own battery production, thus becoming a key site for electric mobility at the Volkswagen Group. Sitting between the upcoming new generation Q5 and the already refreshed Q7, the e-tron electric Q6 has been introduced during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015.