Volkswagen ramps up production of EVs in Zwickau
Volkswagen’s factory for electric vehicles in Zwickau is undergoing significant changes. As from mid-April, a third shift will be introduced, which in the end will almost double the daily output.
The assembly lines will only move away from Volkswagen models and broaden their stretch across some of the subbrands, such as Audi and Cupra. A new boss, Stefan Loth, is supervising the changes.
Until now, the two shifts of the Zwickau plant had their hands full with the production of the ID.3, accompanied by the ID.4, since November last year. That daily output of 800 vehicles will soon be elevated, as the Zwickau plant welcomes more models based on the Volkswagen shared electric platform (MEB). To make that happen, a new shift is added in the rebuilt Hall 6.
Audi and Cupra are joining
The logical next model is the ID.5, a coupe version of the ID.4. But for the first time in its history, the plant turns to the assembly of Audi models, more specifically the SUV Q4 e-tron, and its coupe sibling, the Q4 Sportback e-tron.
A nice catch because Audi has its roots in Zwickau. Also, the el Born, Cupra’s take on the ID.3, will be built there. Per working day, the production will rise to 1 400 units, almost doubling today’s output.
Bundling the production platforms enables future large-volume electric models to be produced in large quantities and with great efficiency. Volkswagen does not clarify the precise start-up of each of these additional models.
Together with the Glass factory in Dresden and the Chemnitz engine plant, Zwickau is part of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH. Thomas Ulbrich, who was overseeing the business, has been promoted to Chief Development Officer at Volkswagen. He is handing over the management in Saxony to Stefan Loth.
Symbol for transformation
Zwickau is one of the oldest factories on the continent (production started in 1904). Therefore, it stands as a symbol for the daunting transformation from the combustion era to electric mobility.
As for now, it is Europe’s biggest facility for the assembly of electric cars, with an annual capacity of 330 000 units. However, Tesla is about to top that peak output. Its brand new factory outside of Berlin, scheduled to start this summer, plans to build 500 000 vehicles.