Area: 6,500,000 m²
Production: about 790,000 vehicles (2017)
Models: Volkswagen Golf, Golf Sportsvan, e-Golf, Golf GTE, Golf GTI, Golf R, Tiguan, Touran
Components: Plastic parts, chassis
Employees: about 62,300 (December 31, 2017)
Situated on the banks of the Mittellandkanal, an artificial waterway, the plant has an area of more than six square kilometers, with the factory halls alone taking up a surface area of 1.6 square kilometers – an area as large as the entire Principality of Monaco.
The network of roads connecting the individual production facilities, warehouses, administration buildings and outdoor facilities has a total length of 75 kilometers, with 60 kilometers of railway tracks additionally criss-crossing the grounds. Seven locomotives, two shunting robots and a traverse are in operation on the tracks.
Since June 2016 Stefan Loth has been the Plant Manager and head of vehicle production at the Wolfsburg plant. Loth holds a PhD in mechanical engineering . He began his career in 1997 working with Ford. In 2006 he joined the Volkswagen car brand in Wolfsburg and assumed responsibility for the production system of Volkswagen. After various responsible functions with the Volkswagen brand, he became the Plant Manager for the Seat brand at the Spanish plant in Martorell in 2011. In 2015 he was appointed Plant Manager for the FAW Plant Chengdu.
The world's largest single car-manufacturing complex produces the Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Golf R, Golf GTI, Golf GTE, e-Golf, Touran and Tiguan. About 790,000 vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in 2017. The daily production capacity amounts to about 3,800 vehicles. Apart from car production, component manufacture is another cornerstone of activities at Wolfsburg. The components produced here, including drive shafts and plastic components, are used in vehicle production in Wolfsburg and at other Group plants.
Material movements and flow of goods
Every day, around 180 double-decker rail cars and about 185 trucks leave the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg with a cargo of some 3,200 vehicles. Incoming deliveries of raw materials, components and system modules from around 2,600 suppliers arrive at the plant in about 100 rail cars and 2,000 trucks every day.
Components: plastic and chassis
As one of six business areas within the "Components" field of responsibility of the Board of Management, "Plastics"is an internal system supplier of plastic components for vehicle interiors and exteriors. About 2,100 people are employed in Wolfsburg (and about 480 in Brunswick). Parts are supplied for models including the Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan and Touran produced in Wolfsburg as well as models produced at Zwickau, Kaluga and Poznań. The product range includes the design components instrument panel, door trim and fender as well as functional components such as fuel tank holders. Apart from production work, the activities of the business area include the assembly and just-in-sequence delivery of complex modules such as cockpits and front ends. The plastics competence center develops, tests and implements ground-breaking innovations such as the use of renewable raw materials in cooperation with toolmaking and research units. These activities are based on a full range of skills throughout the entire product creation process – from development and planning through to series production, from the granulate to the finished module.
"Chassis" is another business area in the "Components" field at the Wolfsburg plant. In this business area, drive shafts, steel wheels, drag link tubes and cable shifts are manufactured in an area of approx. 200,000 m². in addition, the complete wheels for all vehicles produced at Wolfsburg are assembled "just in sequence" from steel rims produced at the plant, and aluminum rims and tires delivered by suppliers. Apart from the Wolfsburg plant, which receives 100 percent of these components from the unit, other major customers include plants of the Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA Group brands throughout the world.
The research and development facilities at Wolfsburg represent one of the largest development centers in the automotive industry. Working in a total area of 1.2 square kilometers, about 10,800 highly qualified employees shape the mobility of the future. Here, Volkswagen forges ahead in future-oriented areas such as electrification, digitalization and automated driving. The technical development team has advanced facilities for the design, development and testing of future Volkswagen models. These include various test beds, wind tunnels, visualization centers and proving grounds which are directly connected to the plant. A key element is the E-Campus, where Volkswagen pools its expertise in the field of electrical and electronic systems.
Toolmaking acts as an independent unit within production at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. From the design phase onwards, Toolmaking is a strategic partner of Technical Development and Production. Key tasks include production feasibility assessments of all steel sheet body parts, the production of the tools required including introduction on production presses and the installation and commissioning of the systems in body production. The toolmaking unit includes two main sections: press toolmaking and plant assembly. Expertise in the press toolmaking section includes the production of press tools for cold and hot stamping for the creation of complex surface structures. The advanced machining center also contributes to this area. The main emphasis in plant assembly is on the production of efficient, durable framers and hemming systems as well as welding systems. Toolmaking at Volkswagen is organized in a world-wide network ensuring the trouble-free start of production at all the brand's locations. Currently, the network includes toolmaking facilities in Osnabrück, Palmela, Stupava, Anchieta, Puebla and Pune, under the central leadership of the unit in Wolfsburg.
The Volkswagen brand has set itself has set itself an ambitious target for the reduction of environmental impact in production. By 2025, vehicles and components are to be produced in a way which is 45 percent more environmentally compatible than in 2010.
The target of a 25 percent reduction in the environmental impact of production by 2018 within the framework of the Think Blue. Factory. holistic environmental program was reached ahead of the date originally set.
The key figures measured are CO2 emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, waste production and solvent emissions.
A key aspect for the successful implementation of resource efficiency measures is systematic interchange among the production locations in order to transfer appropriate optimization ideas between the plants.
In order to realize further savings potentials, compressed air systems, cold networks, cooling towers, hall ventilation systems and lighting systems are to be comprehensively reviewed.
The two power plants operated in Wolfsburg by Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH generate power and heat not only for the Volkswagen plant, but also for the city of Wolfsburg. In addition, together with the power plant at Kassel and the compact cogeneration plant at Brunswick, the Wolfsburg power plants supply electricity for the plants at Salzgitter, Brunswick, Emden, Hanover and Kassel.
Since 2011, Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH has invested across all locations in the expansion of renewable energies and the installation of high-efficiency natural gas-powered cogeneration plants.
Wolfsburg is the location of the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen brand headquarters. It is from here that the worldwide activities and management of the Group are organized.
Volkswagen, founded in Berlin on May 28, 1937 as "Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens", commissioned a factory to be built at the site of what would eventually be the City of Wolfsburg. The factory was built in 1938/39 as a facility for series production of the Volkswagen car designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Realization of this "People's Car" vision was interrupted by World War II, which brought with it armament production and forced labor. Under the trusteeship of the British military government from 1945 to 1949, Volkswagen was transformed into a civil market company and came into its own. The dream of cars for everyone started to become reality when production of the Volkswagen started under British command on September 27, 1945. In1955, the factory celebrated completion of the one-millionth Beetle in Wolfsburg. By the time production was discontinued in 1974, a total of 11,916,519 Beetles had been built in Wolfsburg. Production of the Golf then started. The form and functionality of the new model made it the symbol of an entire vehicle class. With the GTI and the frugal diesel, the Golf became a best-selling model. The one-millionth Golf already rolled off the assembly line in Wolfsburg in 1976. This first Golf was replaced by its second-generation successor in May 1983. This model was assembled by largely automated systems in the dedicated assembly Hall 54 built especially for the Golf. In 1988, the 50th anniversary year of the city and the plant, the 10 millionth Golf was produced. In the plant, which had grown over the course of time, new market demands and ambitious corporate targets were mastered by investments in flexible technology, lean production methods and modern assembly systems adapted to customers' and employees needs as well as a variety of shift working and working time models. In the 1990s, the Polo was added to the product range produced at the plant and was joined for a short time by the Seat Arosa and the Lupo, the Volkswagen brand's new entry-level model. From August 1997, the fourth-generation Golf, which was produced using highly advanced equipment, set new quality standards in the compact class which bore its name. The flexibility of production at the plant was increased with the Polo III, Golf IV and Lupo.
In August 2001, Auto 5000 GmbH was established as a result of negotiations between Volkswagen and the IG Metall trade union in order to create jobs in Wolfsburg for Touran production. The name of the company refers to the plan to recruit 5,000 new employees at a gross salary of DM 5,000. the project was promoted with the slogan of "5000×5000". From 2007, Auto 5000 also produced the Tiguan compact SUV, which had been presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 2007 and was launched in October 2007. From January 1, 2009, the employees of Auto 5000 GmbH were transferred to Volkswagen AG and the project came to an end.
In September 2008, Volkswagen presented its new sixth-generation Golf. The 15 millionth Golf produced at the plant rolled off the assembly line in September 2010. The new seventh-generation Golf made its debut in September 2012. Six months later, in March 2013, the model won the European award "Car of the Year 2013".
2014 was the year of e-mobility. The first e-Golf rolled off the production line in March, followed by the Golf GTE, the plug-in hybrid, in June. The second-generation Touran has been produced since May 2015 and production of the second-generation Tiguan started at the beginning of 2016. To date, more than 44 million vehicles have been manufactured at the Wolfsburg plant.