VW will build the Trinity in Zwickau instead of Wolfsburg

Following rumours earlier in the day, the carmaker confirmed that the upcoming flagship model will be build in Zwickau instead of Wolfsburg. The latter will be home to an all-electric SUV from late 2026.

Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen plans to build its electric flagship Trinity in Zwickau instead of Wolfsburg. The carmaker thus confirmed earlier rumours, following a meeting of the VW Supervisory Board.

According to plans of former CEO Herbert Diess, VW was to build a new factory for the Trinity in Wolfsburg. There had already been an official announcement, including a photo op on site with political representatives. However, his successor, Oliver Blume, ordered a model redesign and scrapped plans for a separate Trinity plant. Until now, it was assumed that the Trinity would be built at the converted Wolfsburg main plant instead. Now, the company writes that “As things stand today, the Trinity vehicle project originally planned for Wolfsburg will go to the Zwickau plant.”

The Handelsblatt first reported the then unconfirmed move. However, it is still not clear why exactly the carmaker decided to move the Trinity production to Zwickau. One reason could be that top management wants to reassure the workforce and plant management. After all, the carmaker just cut 270 temporary jobs due to lower demand and will shut down one of the two production lines there – the one for the VW ID.3 and Cupra Born – for two weeks next month. And there is no word yet on when it will restart. On top of that, the manufacturer terminated a company agreement on a three-shift operation at the plant that had been in effect since 1991. As a result, the works council is “more than emotional,” according to Handelsblatt. If the plant can build the brand’s flagship in the future, it could smooth the waters.

“With the decisions for our domestic vehicle manufacturing VW plants, we have now taken an important step in the planning round. In doing so, even in difficult times, the company and the Works Council are demonstrating their ability to work together to find solid solutions that combine the best possible economic utilization of the factories and clear prospects for our workforces,” says General Works Council Chairwoman Daniela Cavallo. “With that in mind, we are now moving on to the next stages for the planning round and the performance program.”

In the case of the Trinity, conversion work in Zwickau will probably be necessary because the model will be the first VW to be based on the new SSP, an all-electric platform. The earliest possible date for the SSP (and thus the Trinity) mentioned in the current report is 2028 – which would also fit the time horizon of the “planning round,” usually set at five years.

In the press release, VW also announced that in addition to the ID.3, which will be launched in Wolfsburg in 2023, an all-electric SUV will also be built at the main plant from 2026. So far, there has been speculation about an ID. model the size of the Tiguan; somewhat below the current ID.4. But according to VW, it will be an “all-electric SUV in the high-volume A-segment in high numbers” – no further details are given. Since the launch is to take place in 2026, the SSP platform (with a launch in 2028) is ruled out; the MEB entry platform is planned for the A-segment anyway. But production should actually take place in Spain, the ID.2 is built at Seat in Martorell. VW does not specify whether the Wolfsburg A-segment SUV is the ID.2 X (which according to the previous status was to be built in Pamplona) or a new model. New electric models based on the SSP architecture (scalable systems platform), will follow in Wolfsburg at the end of the decade.

The distribution of existing and upcoming models among the plants, which is determined every year in the form of the so-called “planning round,” is a sensitive and important topic. It is when decisions are made about (theoretical) capacity utilisation and, to some extent, about profitability – because depending on the plant, production and logistics costs can vary, which affects margins or has to be offset in the customer price and necessary conversion work is sometimes associated with high investments. In some cases, however, the political impact of the model award has priority.

volkswagen-newsroom.com, handelsblatt.com (in German)


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