The Zwickau vehicle plant has a total area of 1,800,000 m², corresponding to 252 soccer pitches.
The all-electric ID.3 and ID.4 are currently produced in Zwickau, with vehicles from Audi, Cupra and Volkswagen set to be added in the course of 2021. The last combustion vehicle was produced on 26 June 2020 – signalling an historic milestone. Around 115,000 vehicles were produced in 2020. Since the plant was founded in 1990, more than six million vehicles have rolled off the production lines.
Zwickau is playing a key role with the start of production of electric vehicles:
for the first time, a large car factory is being completely re-equipped for electric mobility with an investment totalling 1.2 billion euros. In the final stage of development, from the middle of 2021, six electric models for three Group brands are to be produced at the plant, with a total volume of up to 330,000 units per year. The plant will therefore become the largest and highest-performance electric car plant in Europe and will play a pioneering role in the transformation of Volkswagen’s global production network.
After the parent plant in Wolfsburg, the Zwickau facility has the second-largest press shop within the Volkswagen brand. Around 20 million parts per year have been produced on average in West Saxony in the past ten years. With the new XL press, this figure is set to increase to up to 30 million parts per year by the beginning of 2022, some of which will continue to be supplied to other Group sites. The plant also has centres for the production of special-order vehicles, natural gas racks and aluminium add-on parts. Zwickau manufactures the bodies for the Bentley and the Lamborghini.
The integration of environmental protection in all business and decision-making processes is a key element of strategic decisions at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH. Production processes at the Zwickau site are continually optimised to ensure that production is as environmentally compatible as possible and to conserve natural resources. Efforts focus in particular on the reduction of energy consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions at the plant. Other key elements are the reduction of production waste and industrial drinking water consumption.
Zwickau is playing a pioneering role with the production of the ID.3: This will be the first electric vehicle of the Volkswagen Group to have a neutral carbon balance over its entire life cycle if customers consistently charge their batteries with green electricity. With reference to the production phase alone, the CO₂ balance of the six MEB vehicles will be improved by far more than 100,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year.
Spacious environmental compensation areas and orchards have been established on and around the site of the Zwickau vehicle plant. Two streams near the plant have been restored to a near-natural condition over a length of 3.3 km and now offer ideal habitats for a wide variety of fauna. This also includes 25 beehives, each with 50,000 or so bees producing three types of honey every year. With its own compact cogeneration plant, a photovoltaic system and a dedicated energy park including a charging station for electric vehicles, energy systems at the Zwickau plant are in line with the principles of the Think Blue. Factory. programme.
Dr Stefan Loth took over as Managing Director with responsibility for Technology and Logistics at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH on 1 January 2021 and is also Chairman of the Board of Management since the end of February 2021. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering and began his career in 1997 at Ford. In 2006, he joined the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand in Wolfsburg as head of the Volkswagen production system. Following further senior management posts at Volkswagen, he was given responsibility for SEAT’s production plant in Martorell, Spain, in 2011. He was appointed general manager of the FAW Volkswagen plant in Chengdu, China, in 2015. From 2016, Dr Loth was plant manager and head of vehicle production at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg.
About Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH
The founding of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH in December 1990 marked the launch of an ambitious project by Volkswagen AG to establish a competitive production facility for Volkswagen vehicles and engines in one of the most traditional regions of the German automotive industry. In addition to the temporary use of existing facilities at Zwickau and Chemnitz, which Volkswagen fully modernised, two new manufacturing facilities were built for vehicle and engine production.
The Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory) in Dresden was inaugurated in 2001. Automobilmanufaktur Dresden GmbH (Gläserne Manufaktur) was merged with Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH in 2014.
Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH now includes the Zwickau vehicle plant, the Chemnitz engine plant and the Transparent Factory in Dresden. Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH has a workforce of around 11,320 employees (including Volkswagen Training Institute). Roughly 98 per cent of the employees have industry-related vocational training, a master craftsman’s certificate or a technical college or university degree. The average age is around 44 years and women currently account for 11 per cent of the workforce.
Dr Stefan Loth is Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH with responsibility for Technology and Logistics. The Management Board also includes Dirk Coers (Human Resources and Organisation) and Karen Kutzner (Finance & Controlling).