Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said: “It’s my firm conviction that Germany as an automotive location must also lead the way when it comes to electric mobility. That’s why we’re deliberately converting the Zwickau plant into the largest and most efficient e-car site in Europe. It’s impressive to see what efforts the team is making to help achieve that transformation. Zwickau can become a model for transformation in our industry.”
The largest and most efficient e-car plant in Europe is currently being established in Zwickau. It is the world’s first complete transformation of a large car factory. In the future, the plant will solely make e-vehicles based on the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) and have a production capacity of 330,000 vehicles a year.
Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand responsible for E-Mobility and spokesperson of the Management Board of Volkswagen Sachsen, underscores the growing importance of the locations: “The transformation to electric mobility is a huge task for Volkswagen, Volkswagen Sachsen and its workforce. We’ve successfully accomplished the first phase of that. Around half of the 1,500 new robots for body construction are already in operation, for example. The paint shop is currently being expanded and we’ll commence conversion of the first line in final assembly as planned in the summer.”
Jens Rothe, Chairman of the Central Works Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Sachsen, praised the broad-scale education drive for employees flanking the move toward electric mobility. “We’re working intensely to prepare our colleagues for the new topics. Around 2,800 of the 8,000 employees have already undergone training. We’re making good progress in that.” In particular, Rothe urged policymakers and municipalities to take quicker and bolder action in expanding the charging infrastructure. “We need a lot more commitment here. My fear is that the right priorities are not always being set in this regard.” Volkswagen itself will expand the charging infrastructure in Zwickau from the current figure of 36 charging points at and around the plant to some 180 in the coming 18 months.
With regard to the more than 135,000 visitors (in 2018) and the numerous technological innovations at the Gläserne Manufaktur Dresden, Ulbrich emphasized: “We’ll further expand its specific role as a showcase for electric mobility and digitalization. MEB vehicles will also come off the line there in the future.”
The Chemnitz engine plant is working to full capacity on a permanent basis. Under the Pact for the Future, more than 900,000 engines a year are to be built moving ahead. Capacity will be expanded gradually to enable that. Thomas Ulbrich: “The compact TSI engines from Chemnitz will earn us the money we need for our transformation to electric mobility.