VW still faces supply issues on drive components

Volkswagen is still struggling with a shortage of electric motors from the components plant in Kassel. The electric car factory in Zwickau has therefore only been producing at a reduced rate since last week. The consequences are also being felt at Skoda in Mlada Boleslav.

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A Volkswagen spokesperson confirmed to the German publication Handelsblatt that production in Zwickau has been slowed down. Specifically, work in one of the plant’s production halls is now only being carried out on three instead of five days in early, late and night shifts. The VW ID.4 and ID.5 models and the Audi Q4 e-tron are affected. This therefore concerns the models on production line 2 at the plant. And: the reduced production is to continue for at least the whole of next week. Volkswagen has either announced short-time working or scheduled further training measures for the employees affected.

According to the Handelsblatt, production of the Enyaq at Skoda’s main plant in Mlada Boleslav also continues to be curbed due to a lack of electric motors. In November and December, the lack of availability of the units is known to have caused restrictions at a number of plants, including Zwickau, Emden and Mlada Boleslav.

It has been known for some time that the bottleneck relates to the new APP550 motor, which is built at the VW components plant in Kassel. According to insiders, errors occurred during the ramp-up of a production plant there, which is why significantly fewer electric motors are being manufactured at the site than would be technically possible.

A spokesperson for the components division confirmed to the Handelsblatt newspaper in November that the production of electric drive systems at the Kassel site was “currently only possible to a limited extent.” According to the insiders, the problem lies with a system that produces stators for the APP550. The plant is currently only able to achieve around 30 per cent of the technically promised capacity. More than 50 VW employees are said to be working in a task force to resolve the problem, it was reported in November.

According to the Handelsblatt article, it is unclear when the situation in Kassel will be fully resolved. Company circles are talking about summer as the target period. The background to the bottleneck is that the 150 kW PSM previously used on the rear axle of a number of Volkswagen Group models is being replaced by the new APP550. This not only offers 210 kW of power, but also 550 Nm (instead of the previous 310 Nm) of maximum torque. At the same time, the new electric motor is more efficient, thus increasing the range. The new motor will be installed in the ID.4, ID.5 and ID.7 model series as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron, the Skoda Enyaq and the Cupra Tavascan.

Volkswagen is not only struggling with a lack of motors in electric car production, but also with weak demand in some cases. The VW ID.3 and the Cupra Born, which roll off the production line 1 in Zwickau, were not affected by the engine bottleneck. This is because the familiar electric motor with 150 kW of power and 310 Nm of torque is still being installed in the two compact models. Nevertheless, Volkswagen shut down production of both electric models in Zwickau and Dresden in December. Volkswagen had already stopped electric car production on production line 1 in Zwickau for around two weeks in October due to weak demand.

handelsblatt.com (in German)


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