The independent corporate business unit is responsible for the development and manufacturing of strategic components for the Group’s brands. Volkswagen Group Components acts as a pioneer of the sector’s transformation: since 2015, it has had a firm focus on innovative, competitive and scalable products for the mobility of tomorrow. Today, Components manufactures central components at international sites for the e-SUV – the Volkswagen ID.4 – for the German, Chinese, and in future, US-American markets.
The current and future models based on the MEB are the most significant drivers of the transformation to e-mobility in Volkswagen Group Components’ factories. Thomas Schmall, CEO of the independent unit, believes his team is well prepared for the major upheavals: “The considerable share of added value that our components contribute to the vehicles of the Group brands is an indicator of our competitiveness. It underpins the Group’s electric offensive and shows that we have taken the right product decisions regarding our future focus. This means that Volkswagen Group Components is on the way to becoming one of the largest manufacturers of automotive e-components worldwide.”
KASSEL: Lead plant for electric drives
The Components factory in Kassel delivers the electric drives and platform parts for the ID.4 and other MEB vehicles for Europe and North America. As part of the transformation, the Group’s largest site for the manufacture of gearboxes now also specialises in building electric drives. The core elements – rotor and stator – are delivered by the components factory in Salzgitter. Motors, gearboxes and intermediate housings are cast at the sites in Hannover, Poznań and Kassel. All of the components belonging to an electric drive, including the 1-gear transmission from Kassel, are assembled on-site.
The electric drives for the Chinese market are produced at the Tianjin factory. This makes Volkswagen Group Components one of the largest global producers of these essential electric vehicle components.
BRAUNSCHWEIG: New centre for battery system expertise
The battery system for the MEB is manufactured at the Braunschweig site. A further skill has been added to the construction and assembly of chassis components: the development of high-voltage battery systems and software for the respective control units has been pooled here for the whole Group. The battery system is also manufactured at the Foshan site in China.
SALZGITTER: Blueprint for the future
Nowhere does the topic of transformation have a stronger presence than in Salzgitter. Firstly, the elementary components – rotor and stator – are produced here for the drive of the ID.4 and other MEB models. Secondly, Volkswagen Group Components pools expertise and competence for battery technology from across the Group in the Center of Excellence for Battery Cells (CoE) at the site. The pilot production line and analysis laboratories are drivers of the further development of battery cell and manufacturing technology. In collaboration with the Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt AB, the first battery cell plant for the Northvolt Zwei joint venture will be built right next door, to be completed by 2024.
A pilot plant for recycling used high-voltage batteries will also start operations in Salzgitter in the next few weeks, recovering metal and valuable raw materials from batteries that cannot be recycled or re-used. The aim is to re-use more than 90% of the batteries in the future.