VW's Audi delays tech projects at German base as it cuts costs -sources

lunes 17 de octubre de 2016 17:01 GYT

* Self-drive test track, battery facility delayed -sources

* Tech projects delayed 'for foreseeable future' -Audi

* Works council warns against indefinite delay

BERLIN, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Audi will delay technology projects at its German base to cut costs, sources at the company said on Monday, as it grapples with the Volkswagen group's emissions scandal and multi-million-euro investments in electric cars and autonomous driving.

Audi, Volkswagen's profit engine, has said it will scale back its conventional car programme to fund a strategic shift to green vehicles and digital services through 2025 as competition with German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz heats up.

But cutbacks will also affect next-generation technology projects intended to help Audi clean up its image in the wake of the emissions scandal, two sources at Audi told Reuters.

Among other projects, Audi will postpone a test-track for self-driving vehicles and facilities to make batteries and concept cars, the sources said.

A spokesman for Audi said projects pertaining to a planned technology park at Audi's home in Ingolstadt dubbed "IN-Campus" would be postponed for the foreseeable future, without elaborating.

Some analysts bemoan the fact that, although Audi benefits from the scale effects of its parent VW, it still invests more cash in property, plant and equipment than BMW or Daimler's Mercedes-Benz.   Continuación...