Zwickau produces models as diverse as the compact ID.3 from Volkswagen and the Q4 e-tron, an SUV from Audi. However, when it comes to what’s inside, the cars have a lot of similarities. The bumper, for example: the design is different, but the screws, tools and grips are the same. Robert Pahlow can count more than 120 instances of “identical concepts”. And the models from Zwickau are also closely related when it comes to the software. This is facilitated by the shared technical basis – the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). Volkswagen’s vehicle architecture developed specifically for electric drive gives long ranges, plenty of space inside and strong performance.
One plant – six models: How Zwickau builds electric cars
Starting today, the all-electric ID.5 will be coming off the production line at Volkswagen’s Zwickau site – this is the sixth electric model to come from the car plant in Saxony. One factory – six cars: an extraordinary challenge. Experts Robert Pahlow (start-up management) and Frank Schemmel (vehicle production) explain how it works.
1. Identical assembly concepts
2. Flexible change
Production is extremely versatile: various measures, such as a special indicator (“PR number”), guide the different models to the respective production line with so much precision that employees always know which parts they need to install. To keep up with the high demand for electric cars, two production lines are in operation – one for the ID.3 and CUPRA Born, and the other for the ID.5, Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron. The ID.4 can be built on either line – as needed. Overall, the Volkswagen plant has completed six model start-ups for three of the Group’s brands in the space of two years.
The production pros at Zwickau can schedule the electric SUV ID.4 on either of their two production lines – allowing the plant to adapt flexibly to demand.
3. Fewer variations
4. Fresh knowledge
5. Even greater pride
6. Strong team
Six electric cars from Zwickau
Volkswagen ID.3 – the pioneer
The ID.3 was the first Volkswagen based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB).In its very first year on the European market, the compact model with the likeable face attracted more than 144,000 customers.
Volkswagen ID.4 – the global car
100% SUV – 100% electric: the ID.4 is the first all-electric SUV from Volkswagen, and the brand’s first electric global car. A car for Europe, China and the US. It’s part of the biggest market segment in the world, the compact SUV class.
Volkswagen ID.5 – the top-of-the-range model
The ID.5 is the first electric SUV coupé from Volkswagen. It is the brand’s first all-electric top-of-the-range model classed as premium. The ID.5 and the sporty ID.5 GTX with twin engine four-wheel drive captivate with expressive design, long-distance capability and the latest software.
CUPRA Born – the passionate one
Beautiful. Powerful. 100% electric: the CUPRA Born. The brand’s first all-electric model is built for passionate driving.
Audi Q4 e-tron – the all-rounder
Diverse all-rounder with a progressive design: the Audi Q4 e-tron. Like the sportback model, it combines new spatial dimensions inside with pioneering solutions when it comes to operation, display and assistance systems.