* Workers seek job guarantee for 60,000 staff in Germany
* Germany bears brunt of strategic revamp, loses Q5 model
* CEO offers bilateral talks on future of German plants
(Adds CEO position, detail and background)
BERLIN, Oct 5 Audi's labour boss has called on
the carmaker's top management to build more electric models in
Germany and extend a job guarantee for workers in its home
market beyond 2018.
Volkswagen-owned Audi, which like its parent is
grappling with the fallout from the group's emissions test
cheating scandal, must prolong a job guarantee for its 60,000
Germany-based staff as it pursues a strategic overhaul, works
council chief Peter Mosch said on Wednesday.
Audi plans to invest about a third of its R&D budget into
electric cars, digital services and autonomous driving and wants
zero-emission vehicles to account for at least a quarter of its
sales by 2025, mirroring plans by Volkswagen (VW).
At the same time, the luxury division's key factory in
Ingolstadt, where about half of Audi's global workforce of
85,000 is employed, faces production changes as it will lose the
Q5 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) to a new Mexican plant while
accommodating the new Q2 model.
"In these stressed times one thing must be safe and that's
employment of the Audi workers," Mosch told a gathering of more
than 8,000 workers in Ingolstadt.
Employment guarantees for the 60,000 workers in Ingolstadt
and Neckarsulm, where Audi makes high-end models such as the A8
saloon and the R8 sports car, are due to expire in 2018.
German workers have grown concerned about their jobs ever
since Audi said in January it would use a factory in Brussels to
build its first mass-produced electric model, the e-tron quattro
SUV and make the site a key plant for electric mobility within
the VW group.
To allay those fears, Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler
offered on Wednesday to hold bilateral talks with labour leaders
in the coming weeks on the future of German plants, orders and
"The German Audi factories must now stand in the centre of
the new era of mobility," said Mosch, who sits on the
supervisory boards of both VW and Audi. "We must now draw the
right conclusion from this situation and take action."
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Edward Taylor and Mark