VW to manufacture small electric car in Eastern Europe
Volkswagen’s plans for future plants are changing rapidly: from 2023, the purely electric small car for less than 20,000 euros is to be built in Eastern Europe instead of in Emden in Germany as originally planned. The Zwickau plant in Germany will probably hand over the production of the I.D. Crozz to Emden.
According to a report in the German business and trade newspaper, Handelsblatt, the VW supervisory board has now made a decision on what happens in which plant, although this has not been confirmed by an official statement yet. Just six months ago, in November last year, the German company first announced that the production plant in Emden was to become a pure MEB location, i.e. that from 2022 only electric vehicles based on the modular electrification system would roll off the production line there – namely small electric cars and limousines of several brands.
As reported, the planned small electric car will be available for less than 20,000 euros, much like a Polo or T-Roc. VW subsidiary Seat is leading the development of a corresponding platform with a smaller version of the MEB modular system. In future, all brands of the Volkswagen Group will be able to use this format to produce low-cost cars with a length of around four metres. According to Seat, more than 300 engineers are involved in the project.
According to Handelsblatt, the plan was to produce around 200,000 units per year of such a small electric car in much the same way for VW, Seat and Skoda in Emden, Germany. But apparently, it has now become apparent during the calculations that the comparatively high wage costs would endanger the target purchase price of less than 20,000 euros. Instead, the production of the electricity is now to be relocated to an Eastern European location. According to the above-mentioned report, the favourite option at the moment is the factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, where the production of purely battery-operated small cars on an older vehicle platform is currently starting.
Nevertheless, the 9,000 jobs in Emden will probably be preserved in their entirety, as the supervisory board is said to have decided to relocate the production of an electric compact SUV from Zwickau to Emden in return. This will probably involve the ID. Crozz. Zwickau is again sufficiently busy with the very high demand for the ID.3. Pre-orders for the first electric car from Volkswagen Group based on MEB have been open for just one and a half weeks – and half of the initial 30,000 vehicles have already sold out.
handelsblatt.com (in German)