Volkswagen completes new vehicle factory in Anhui
Volkswagen has completed construction of the new MEB plant in Anhui, China, and built the first pre-series vehicle there. Series production at the Anhui plant, which according to Chinese media has an annual capacity of 350,000 electric cars, is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023.
The completion of the new electric car plant came just over a year and a half after construction began. Recently, Volkswagen said that the Cupra Tavascan SUV coupe planned for 2024 will be manufactured in Anhui and exported from there to sales markets such as Europe.
The new Anhui plant, controlled by Volkswagen, is the group’s third production facility for all-electric vehicles in China after the Anting (SAIC VW) and Foshan (FAW-VW) plants. However, there are two major differences here compared to Anting and Foshan: Firstly, the Wolfsburg-based company took over the majority of the JAC-Volkswagen joint venture in 2020 and renamed it Volkswagen Anhui – VW thus controls the plant, in contrast to the partnerships with SAIC and FAW. And it is said to be the VW plant with the highest level of automation in China – over 900 robots have been installed in the 140,000m² area.
It is not known which model the first pre-production vehicle is – the vehicle is covered with a white cover. So it could already be the first Cupra Tavascan, but this is not confirmed. The alternative would be Volkswagen Anhui’s own electric model for China. However, nothing was announced in this direction, while production of the Tavascan at the new Anhui plant is confirmed – albeit not until 2024.
What is clear is that the pre-series vehicles now built will now be analysed in detail to improve the production processes and the quality of the vehicles with the new machines and personnel. It is not known with what capacity series production will then start in the second half of 2023.
In the long run, the Tavascan, which is also to be exported from China to Europe and presumably to other markets as well (Cupra has recently also been launched in Australia), will probably not be able to utilise the plant to capacity on its own. Further models from Anhui are not yet known.