Volkswagen’s supervisory board has given the go-ahead for plans to build a new electric car plant in the Warmenau district of Wolfsburg in Germany. The company says it will invest around two billion euros in the new factory, in which the electric flagship Trinity will be built.
The project’s approval was already rumoured in the German press just days ago. Volkswagen has now announced that construction work in the Wolfsburg-Warmenau district is scheduled to begin in spring 2023. From 2026 onwards, the Trinity is to roll off the production line using the most innovative production methods and “balance sheet CO2-neutral”. The Trinity will be the first model to be based on the new SSP electric platform, and the plant in Wolfsburg-Warmenau will thus also be the first factory in the group designed for the production of this platform.
VW brand boss Ralf Brandstätter sees the supervisory board’s decision as an important milestone for the future of the Wolfsburg plant – according to rumours, the plans for the electric car plant outside the existing plant walls go back to him, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess is said to have favoured a location far outside Wolfsburg. “We are thus strengthening and sustaining the competitiveness of the main plant and giving the workforce a robust long-term perspective,” said Brandstätter. “We are setting benchmarks in the automotive industry with Trinity and the new factory and turning Wolfsburg into the global lighthouse for cutting-edge and efficient vehicle production.” Daniela Cavallo, head of the works council, also sees a “historic setting of the course for Wolfsburg”.
In announcing the new plant, VW also reiterates the target set last week by Thomas Ulbrich, the board member responsible for development: a car is to be built in ten hours. At a works council meeting last year, Group CEO Diess had stated that the production of an MEB model in Zwickau would take around 30 hours. The key, according to VW, is “fewer variants, fewer components, more automation, leaner production lines and new logistics concepts”.
The German publication Handelsblatt reported that up to 250,000 electric vehicles per year will be built at the plant by about 5,000 employees. The production capacity had been expected to be in this order of magnitude.
According to VW, the plan is to integrate SSP production into the existing main plant by 2030, following the example of the Trinity factory. The German publication Handelsblatt states that the conversion of the existing lines for the Golf and Tiguan is “likely to start in 2027”. Brandstätter had already indicated that two of the four lines, each of which can also produce around 250,000 cars per year, would be converted first.
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