Audi’s electric SUV faces four-week delay because of software issue

October 21, 2018 14:14 CET

FRANKFURT — Audi’s first electric SUV will hit showrooms four weeks later than planned because of a software development issue, a spokesman for the brand said on Sunday.

The e-tron midsize SUV is delayed because the automaker needs new regulatory clearance for a piece of software that was modified during the development process, the spokesman said.

Audi staged a global launch of the e-tron in San Francisco last month as part of its effort to expand the market for premium electric vehicles and grab market share from California-based Tesla, which has had the niche largely to itself.

The e-tron delays were first reported by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, citing sources close to the company. The newspaper said delivery could be delayed by several months.

The newspaper also said Audi was locked in price negotiations with LG Chem, the South-Korean supplier of batteries for its electric vehicles, which wants to increase prices by about 10 percent because of high demand. LG Chem supplies electric vehicle batteries for Audi, its parent Volkswagen Group and Daimler.

An LG Chem official declined to comment on the report, citing the confidentiality of its relationship with a client. The Audi spokesman also declined to comment on price negotiations with LG Chem.

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