Audi Brussels: an iconic place with a rich history
In this black and white photo, you can see the production line from the 1950s

Our history

Our history: iconic factory in Vorst

Since the 1940s, we have been a fixture in the Brussels streetscape. During those many decades, our factory has produced a long list of car models. The common thread? Simple: no matter what the challenge is, our team will switch and reinvent themselves again and again. With a strong sense of courage and desire to be pioneers. Time for a trip down memory lane!

In this black and white photo you can see the old Volkswagen factory

1948: A flying start with Studebaker

On 27 September 1948, Pierre D’Ieteren laid the first brick for a Studebaker factory in Vorst. It was called Anciens Etablissements D’Ieteren Frères. The first car rolled off the production line a few months later – on 7 April 1949.
A black and white photo representing the old assembly line from the years when the Beetle was produced

1954 – 1961: From Beetles to Porsches

The factory started production of the Volkswagen Beetle in 1954. At a site of 314,000 m2, 750 colleagues build some 75 cars a day, accounting for 1.1 million units in total. Over the years, the factory also shifts up a gear with other models: the VW Transporter in 1954, the Packard in 1955, the VW Karmann Ghia in 1957 and the Porsche 356 in 1961.
In this black and white photo, you can see 3 workers working on Beetles

1970: Under the wings of Volkswagen

At the end of 1970, Volkswagen AG took over the Brussels branch and there was a first modernisation. A new company was born: Volkswagen Brussel N.V. – Bruxelles S.A. Production of the VW Passat starts that year and the millionth VW Beetle rolls off the production line. There will be 21 more years and 1,143,664 more units.

This photo from the 1970s shows the presentation of the Golf 1 to the public

1980 – 1991: Continuously expanding and modernising

Production of many Volkswagen models starts in the 80s: the VW Golf in 1980, the VW Iltis in 1985 and the VW Golf Rallye in 1987. A new step in capacity increase follows in that year: in addition to a former Citroën factory, other surrounding areas also become part of the site. Between 1988 and 1991, the Brussels factory expands further. Production is modernised and equipped with brand new installations.
A worker assembling components under the car's hood with the help of a robot that holds the car and tilts it forward, making the worker's job easier

2001 – 2009: New century, new models

After 194,789 cars, the Brussels production team switches from the Seat Toledo to the VW Lupo in 2001. But that is by no means all. The Audi A3 also rolls off the production line between 2004 and 2009. And in 2006 also the VW Polo, with all the activity that entails. To give you an idea: 5,300 colleagues produced no fewer than 179,382 vehicles that year.

An empty lot with 6 people in suits holding yellow shovels

2005: Automotive Park under construction

On 19 April 2005, the foundations are laid for the Automotive Park. This state-of-the-art centre for supply and logistics is directly connected to the production halls via a bridge. More than 14,000 parts are handled here every day.
Ann old red Audi model being unveiled by 2 people in the showroom

2007: Full speed ahead with Audi AG at the helm

Audi AG takes over the factory in 2007. We roll up our sleeves straight away. Not only will there be a new bodyshop building with 450 advanced robots, but also an ultra-modern production start-up, test and analysis centre. In the meantime, our production is running at full capacity. For example, our team not only makes the Audi A3 Sportback between 2007 and 2010, but also five generations of the VW Golf (3,870,701 units in total) and the VW Polo (149,019 units).
An aerial shot of workers during an event

2009: A double jubilee as the jewel in the crown

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Audi brand and the 60th anniversary of our Brussels factory: we celebrate both milestones in 2009 with colleagues, family and friends during an action-packed anniversary weekend.
An unique-colored Audi, white with signatures all over the body

2010 – 2011: Focus on well-being and milestones

With a new company restaurant and health centre, 2010 is all about our staff. From then on, all our colleagues also regularly receive a preventive medical check-up. Other milestones that stand out: In 2010, we are the only Audi factory to start production of the new Audi A1. In 2011, we open a visitor route and also produce the 100,000th Audi A1. For the occasion we even receive a visit from King Albert II. Shortly afterwards we start producing the Audi A1 Sportback, and celebrate the 7,000,000th vehicle leaving the factory.

 Cake is cut in the presence of Elio Di Rupo

2012 – 2014: From celebrating successes to Vocational Education & Training

Audi Brussels celebrates five years in 2012, and our team builds the 500,000th Audi A1 in 2014. We honour both milestones extensively: even the King and Queen of Belgium attend the celebration in 2014. In the meantime, our team continues to shift gears skilfully. For example, with the production of the Audi A1 Quattro and a Vocational Education & Training pilot project in 2012. Just two years later, we also start production of the Audi S1.
A car is analysed using a hololens

2018 – 2020: The cradle of the electric Audi

In 2018, we lead the way in electrification. That’s when we start the series production of the Audi e-tron. This is Audi’s first fully electric-powered SUV. We also assemble our own batteries for this purpose. In 2020, our team convinces others once again: production of the Audi e-tron Sportback also starts.
The 8 millionth car the factory produced is celebrated

2021 – 2023: There are the Q8 e-trons

On 10 November 2021, our eight millionth car rolls off the production line. A major milestone for which Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is also present. In 2022 we start production of the Audi Q8 e-tron and in 2023 we convert the factory in one year so that the Q4 is also production-ready. A historic undertaking!

5 robots working on the car doors

Back to the present (and the future)?

Step into our factory and explore the models on which we are currently working and how we approach them, from concept to final product.