Artemis production hits a snag in Hanover
The contract to build the Artemis models of Audi, Porsche and Bentley at VW Commercial Vehicles’ Hanover plant was considered a great success for the future of the plant. But now, according to a report in German media, two of the three brands want changes.
According to the German publication Automobilewoche, Porsche and Bentley in particular do not want to have their premium BEVs built in Hanover, or not completely. Porsche boss Oliver Blume is credited in the report with seeing Artemis “as a construction kit from which Porsche will help itself”. For example, the electric Cayenne successor is to use Artemis technologies but be built at the VW plant in Bratislava.
According to the German article, Porsche wants production at a “proven Cayenne location”. This would mean that two plants would come into question: The Porsche plant in Leipzig, where the first two generations of the SUV were built. The favourite, however, is the VW plant in Bratislava, where the third generation of the Cayenne is currently coming off the production line. However, a decision on where the Artemis Porsche will be built has apparently not yet been made.
The situation is different at Bentley, where it is now certain that the Artemis-Bentley “will not come entirely from Hanover”. After all, the model is to be the first purely electric Bentley and lead the transformation to a purely electric brand by 2030. The fact that this important model was not to be built in England was apparently met with resistance. The compromise, according to Automobilwoche, is that Hanover will supply the pre-assembled bodies, including the drive and battery. The Bentley plant in Crewe is to be responsible for the interior and the paintwork.
The report does not say exactly how the logistics will work. Will the powertrain and battery of the bodies supplied from Hanover be removed in Crewe so that the vehicle can be painted? Or will the bodies be brought to England for painting without the powertrain, and then the powertrain will be installed in Hanover before the interior is fitted in Crewe?
Such renegotiations do not go down well with the workers in Hanover. In an interview with Automobilwoche, the works council at the plant refers to the site agreement with the stipulated job security until 2029. “It is the task of the management to ensure that our plant is working to capacity with appropriate vehicle projects,” says Bertina Murkovic, head of the VWN works council. “That is currently the case. If there are any changes to this, they must be discussed and agreed with the employee representatives!”
While it seems to come down to some kind of compromise in the case of the Artemis production, there is also apparently movement on the possible production of an E-model at VW’s main plant in Wolfsburg. According to the report, Wolfsburg could get an overflow production for ID.3 or ID.4. This would ramp up production and meet demand in the event of increased demand for these models. The ID.3 is currently produced for Europe only in Zwickau, while for the ID.4 production is being prepared in Emden as well as Zwickau.
If the overflow production of the Zwickau plant is relocated to Wolfsburg, the Audi site in Neckarsulm could lose out. For the Audi plant in Baden-Württemberg near Heilbronn, it would also be the first electric vehicle model. The Q4 e-tron could be built there to relieve the Zwickau MEB plant. A decision on the location of the overflow production has probably not yet been made. The meeting of the group’s planning committee was most recently postponed to 9 December.
automobilwoche.de (in German)