Germany’s Audi has canceled a scheduled event in Brussels in August to launch its all-electric SUV, the e-tron, and will instead hold the event in the United States at a later date at a yet to be specified location.
The event, Audi Summit, was scheduled to be held on August 30 in Brussels, where the electric SUV will be built.
The change of plans comes a week after Audi’s chief executive Rupert Stadler was arrested by German authorities as part of the investigation into the diesel emissions scandal at Audi’s owner Volkswagen, which has cost the German group around US$30 billion in damages.
On Monday, Audi canceled the Brussels event, citing “organizational reasons”, Automotive News Europe reports. The deferred e-tron unveiling would likely mean that Mercedes-Benz will be the first German carmaker to unveil its Tesla competitor, EQC, set for a world premiere in early September in Stockholm, according to Automotive News Europe.
Despite the canceling of the Audi Summit, the start of e-tron sales, set for the end of this year, still stands, regardless of when the car will be unveiled.
“The e-tron will have its market launch at the end of the year. Nothing has changed,” a spokeswoman for Audi told Automotive News Europe.
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Audi is already taking orders for the e-tron in some western European markets, and said in May that it had received around 5,500 advance orders from customers in Norway and the Netherlands. The price of the e-tron starts at US$93,400 (80,000 euro) in Germany.
Just weeks prior to his arrest, Audi’s now ex CEO Stadler told the Financial Times in an interview: “Believe me, it’s not just an electric car.”
“It’s a starting point for the next quantum leap.”
Last month and before Stadler’s arrest, Audi said that it targets to sell 800,000 battery-electric and hybrid cars in 2025, as it aims to catch up with Tesla and turn the page after the diesel emissions scandal.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.