Audi has announced it will lay off 10 percent of its executive workforce and also reduce the number of engine variants it produces as it looks to cut back on spending.
Speaking to German newspaper Handelsblatt, Audi CEO Bram Schot said it was “clear” that the company’s budget needed adjusting and outlined plans to save $17 billion total through to 2022.
Audi isn’t the only automaker to reduce its spending and simplify its lineup as of late. Late last year, General Motors announced it would be closing five North American plants, axing numerous models and laying off more than 15,000 workers in an effort to save money and streamline its business. GM’s layoffs were driven by slow passenger car sales, along with an expected downturn in global automotive sales, among other factors.
According to Automotive News data, Audi’s global sales fell 3 percent year over year in January. The automaker is still reeling from its failure to properly adapt to the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) standard introduced last year, which caused it to face supply issues that negatively affected sales.
The introduction of WLTP, which came into effect in September 2018, caused the automaker’s sales to fall 56 percent in Europe year over year. At the time, the automaker said that “increasingly empty stores and the restrictions in the sales portfolio had an adverse effect on deliveries.” Audi’s sister brand, Volkswagen, also faced severe supply chain issues related to the rollout of WLTP.
Audi has not said which engine types it plans to cut back on, but it’s likely that this change will affect Europe only.
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