The e-tron was scheduled to be revealed at an event in Brussels, Belgium, where the electric SUV's plant is located, but the reveal will now take place in the United States at a later, unspecified date, Audi confirmed Monday to Automotive News (subscription required).
The delay will likely see Mercedes-Benz become the first of the German luxury brands to unveil a volume electric car. Mercedes' EQC electric SUV is scheduled to be revealed on September 4 at an event in Stockholm, Sweden.
In a statement, Audi mentioned “organizational reasons” as the cause of the delay. The automaker also said the market launch of the e-tron will go ahead as scheduled. Sales are scheduled to commence in Europe late this year. A U.S. arrival will likely happen in early 2019.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler
The news comes just a week after Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested in Germany due to concerns he may suppress evidence regarding ongoing criminal investigations into the diesel scandal, which so far has cost Audi parent company the Volkswagen Group more than $26 billion in damages. Prosecutors are investigating 20 current or former Audi employees including Stadler.
Concurrent with the criminal investigations, Germany's transport authority, the KBA, is also investigating the operations at Audi in regards to the diesel scandal. Besides the emissions cheating software used in certain diesel models from Audi, the KBA is also examining the fixes Audi has developed for its diesel engines.
The arrival of the e-tron is a major milestone for Audi as it marks the start of a massive transformation of the automaker's lineup toward electrified cars. Audi aims to deliver 800,000 electrified cars annually by 2025. To put that into perspective, the automaker delivered 1,878,100 cars in total in 2017.
To reach that level, Audi plans to offer an electrified version of every vehicle in its lineup by the 2025 date. And most of the electrified cars will be pure electrics, with a smaller proportion as plug-in hybrids, the automaker has confirmed.