* Audi to launch three all-electric models by 2020
* Labour reps demand electric model at mass staff gathering
* Management asked to specify EV impact on Audi jobs
BERLIN, March 29 Labour leaders at Volkswagen's
luxury Audi brand have asked top management to
assign production of an all-electric model to the carmaker's
main plant in Germany, concerned they might lose out as electric
cars gain in importance.
Audi will next year start building its first
mass-produced electric model, the e-tron quattro sport-utility
vehicle, at a plant in Brussels, together with batteries that
will also be used in other VW group electric vehicles (EVs).
Volkswagen's (VW) main profit contributor plans to launch
three all-electric models by 2020 and workers at Audi's main
plant in Ingolstadt don't want to be left behind in the race for
"Our core factory must be prepared further for the future,"
Audi's top labour representative, Peter Mosch, told a gathering
of 7,000 workers on Wednesday at the Ingolstadt plant which
employs about 43,000 people.
"None of our colleagues must fall off the conveyer belt as
we move into the future," deputy works council chief Max Waecker
Chief Executive Rupert Stadler has previously said Audi's
smaller German plant in Neckarsulm where 16,000 workers assemble
the higher-end A6, A7 and A8 models, will start making
battery-only vehicles from about 2020.
Mosch, who sits on parent VW's supervisory board, asked top
management to provide specific information as to how the growing
shift to electric cars and digital services will affect
employment at Audi, which has 88,000 workers globally.
Audi has previously been reluctant to embrace all-electric
drive technology but the success of Tesla and arch
rival BMW's "i" series of electric cars has convinced
Audi there is a market for electric luxury vehicles after all.
Daimler on Wednesday also said it was
accelerating its electric car programme.
Audi's e-tron quattro, powered by three electric engines, is
expected to run for over 500 km (311 miles) per charge based on
a 95 kWh battery pack that can be fully recharged in about 50
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Victoria Bryan)