In the history of the automobile, 7 April is a key date, particularly in Belgium. It was on 7 April 1947 that the grandfather of the modern motorcar, Henry Ford, died. A year later, the first stone in the construction of the Forest car manufacturing plant just outside Brussels in Belgium was laid. On 7 April 1949, the first car – a Studebaker – rolled off the plant’s brand-new assembly line. In 2018 – although the date of April 7 has yet to be confirmed – the plant will be dedicated to production of Audi’s first full battery electric vehicle, the e-tron.
We are excited to showcase our technology in the capital of Europe.
Andreas Cremer, secretary general, Audi Brussels
The plant in Forest (Vorst) has flourished ever since. “It was originally established by the Belgian D’Ieteren family, who seized the opportunities offered by Belgium’s post-war tax breaks for car assembly to encourage employment,” says Andreas Cremer, secretary general of Audi Brussels. “Indeed, it was one of many car plants that sprang up during that time, making Belgium the world’s leading car producer per capita back then, producing 1.5 million cars per year for a country population of some 9 million.”