VW: New electric car flagship to be made in Wolfsburg


Volkswagen revealed more details concerning Monday’s announcement that it will turn its main plant in Wolfsburg into a model factory for the highly automated production of electric cars.

The new production lines include a new electric vehicle with improved battery technology and more modern software that is to be built at the plant in a few years. Group CEO Herbert Diess yesterday gave a digitally transmitted speech to around 15,000 VW managers from which the German publications Handelsblatt and Spiegel are now quoting.

The new electric-car to be made in Wolfsburg is to become the top electric model of the Volkswagen passenger car brand and is the subject of a project based on Audi’s ‘Artemis‘ project. In other words, a kind of task force will be set up to bundle all activities from the development of the vehicle to production. The establishment of an electric car manufacturing facility in Wolfsburg has previously been an explicit demand of VW’s employees via their employee representatives at the VW works council.

Diess explicitly referenced Tesla in yesterday’s speech. With the Wolfsburg e-car project, “we can keep up with Tesla and will be even better in terms of production costs,” said the Volkswagen Group CEO. The executive had just been given unanimous support for his leadership in the transformation of the world’s largest carmaking group by the Supervisory Board earlier this week. The two German publications write that Diess wants to position the main plant directly against Tesla’s Giga-Berlin factory in Grünheide.

Above all, Volkswagen wants to leverage its potential in production. The new top vehicle should be able to be manufactured in just ten hours, not unlike Tesla’s plans. Currently, Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric car built in Zwickau, Saxony, tends to take twice that, around 20 hours. Diess added that production would be highly automated. Even at the comparatively expensive site, production of such a sophisticated car would thus be possible, he elaborated.

Der Spiegel, citing “informed circles”, reports further details on the newly planned flagship electric car from Wolfsburg: The new electric model is to be produced in low to medium six-figure quantities and be “multi-brand capable”, i.e. possibly also be adopted by the Group’s subsidiaries. Production is expected to start in 2025 or 2026.

In the course of his presentation, Diess also confirmed that the Group would have its own Board of Management department for IT in 2021., (both in German)


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