Then it really comes full circle. Bernd Perfölz takes us on a tour of the ID.3 production hall in Volkswagen Sachsen’s vehicle production plant. It took only a short time for the site to become the first factory in Europe to be completely converted to pure e-production. Perfölz stops at the brake filling station and points to the axles: “Here the ID.3 is given drum brakes again. The Trabant had them, too,” the plant technician says with a mischievous grin. Of course, he knows that there were quite a few steps in innovation necessary between the East German cult car and the first all-electric car from the Volkswagen Group. Nevertheless he is pleased as punch to discover a familiar component.
Even as an adolescent, Bernd Perfölz was in love with technology: “I built a lot of model boats from scratch during GDR times already – and also the remote controls to go with them! Nowadays there are complete kits – it’s all just a matter of money.”
His father worked in the metal laboratory at Horch. Naturally, he also liked seeing his son Bernd “who always needed something to do with his hands,” as he says himself, go to work at the “Sachsenring,” which was how the locals referred to the VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau. VEB stands for Volkeigener Betrieb, i.e. Publicly Owned Enterprise, the main legal form of industrial companies in Communist East Germany.
1972: apprenticeship as a communications technician
Starting in 1972, Bernd Perfölz began learning the profession of communications technician as an apprentice; he got his qualifications in 1974. Now he is a skilled worker at Sachsenring Zwickau.