The Audi Q4 e-tron’s Success Story: In Its Transition to Electromobility, Audi Is Turning to Synergies Within the Whole Group

  • Audi, Volkswagen, and Cupra models are coming from the same assembly lines
  • Audi Board Member for Production and Logistics Peter Kössler: “Synergy makes the economical transition to emissions-free premium mobility possible in proverbial Audi quality.”
  • Dr. Stefan Loth, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Saxony: “We have successfully transformed into a multi-brand location that will soon have six electric cars”

Strong together: In its transformation to emissions-free mobility, Audi is relying on the synergy effects within the Volkswagen Group. During a media visit to the multi-brand factory in Zwickau, Germany, Peter Kössler, Audi Board Member for Production and Logistics, and Dr. Stefan Loth, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Saxony GmbH, emphasized how intensely the sister companies are benefiting from their close collaboration. Thanks also to shared platforms like the modular electric drive system (MEB), Audi will have more than 20 fully electric models on the market by 2025.

The Q4 e-tron: unmistakably a real Audi

Using shared platforms and technical modules has been a proven strategy in the Volkswagen Group for decades. “Teamwork across brands starts when a new platform is conceived,” says Fermin Soneira Santos, Head of Product Line for Electric Models from the A to C Segment. “It’s important to establish the right balance between distinctive brand character and maximum synergy.” For example, the Q4 e-tron is unmistakably a real Audi. This is not only apparent in the progressive design, but also in the standard Audi display and operation concept with a combination of virtual cockpit and extra large MMI, the augmented reality head-up display, which brings the interface between the virtual and real worlds together for the first time in the compact class, and in Audi’s almost proverbial claim to quality and materials in the interior.Both models successfully started in all European markets in 2021; for US customers, the compact SUVs have been available since the end of September.

Audi employees support and learn from Zwickau colleagues

The benefits of cross-brand collaboration are evident not only in the technical platforms, but also among the employees: at the moment, approximately 350 Audi employees are engaged in manufacturing in Zwickau – primarily junior staff members who have just completed their vocational training. After their one-year assignment in Zwickau, they will bring their experience in the emerging field of electromobility back to their original locations – for instance with the start of the Q6 e-tron in the Ingolstadt factory, which will be on the market starting in 2023.

Zwickau and Audi are united in a long tradition

The roots of the company with the four rings are in Saxony: when he needed to expand his operation, company founder August Horch went to Zwickau, where he registered the company “A. Horch Motorenwagenwerke AG” in 1904.

That laid the foundation for car manufacturing in Saxony. After disagreements with the board of directors, Horch left his company and founded the “August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH” in 1909, which was renamed the “Audi-Automobilwerke m.b.H.” in 1910.

Then, in 1932, the company reached another milestone in its history: the four companies Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer consolidated to form the Auto Union AG; the trademark became the four rings. Stefan Trauf, Managing Director of Auto Union GmbH, the company that is changing Audi tradition today: “Zwickau was, is, and will remain a very special city for Audi. Automotive history was written here – and, then as now, it was striking just how important and productive close collaboration between brands is.” Audi history and the history of the auto industry in Saxony live on in the August Horch Museum in Zwickau (

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