Audi is predicting the end of the conventional production line, which will be replaced by a new modular assembly method.
The shake-up will be a remarkable change for an industry that has been organised around a fixed production line every since Henry Ford created the Model T over 100 years ago. The modular system will be introduced on Lamborghini Urus production in Italy. An approximate timeframe is "major change within 10 years", according to Audi officials.
"Audi is convinced that the assembly line has had its day, because as model diversity grows, the more complicated it becomes to master complexity in a rigid sequential process," says the company.
The push is being accelerated by the shift to electrified powertrains, which require cars to be taken onto a spur, built alongside the conventional production line, where electric motors and batteries are fitted.
"The conventionally powered cars are not worked on during this time, so the time until completion becomes longer for all the cars on the line," says Audi.