Audi has denied speculation that it is seeking a quick exit from its commitment to its Brussels plant.

Speaking at a hastily called press conference in Brussels, head of human resources Werner Widuckel said that there were absolutely no grounds for concern over the future of the Brussels plant, according to dpa-AFX. He said the plant had a "good future" and that the company would invest EUR90m euros there this year and next.

Der Spiegel news magazine reported two weeks ago that one of the impacts of the growing influence of Porsche on Volkswagen could be the closure of the Brussels plant. In fact, it said that Porsche chairman Wendelin Wiedeking had been in favour of closing the plant, but VW supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and VW works council chief Bernd Osterloh had combined to put the brakes on the idea.

Widuckel said that the decision to build the Audi A1 in Brussels was fully supported by the VW supervisory board as a good concept and key to the brand's future strategy.

Audi took over the Brussels plant from Volkswagen at the end of last May. It is building the A3 there and plans to produce the new A1 exclusively in Brussels from 2009. According to company sources, thanks to agreements with the workforce the plant should become "one of the most productive" plants in the group.
Around 80,000 cars will be built in Brussels this year. Planned production of the A1 is between 80,000 and 100,000 cars a year.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more