In an attempt to compete with Tesla, Volkswagen bosses plan to build a new plant in Wolfsburg. This will assemble a future model known for the time being only as the “Trinity project”.
Volkswagen plans to develop a new production facility near the group’s main plant in Wolfsburg. The new series electric model resulting from the Trinity project will be assembled in the new factory.
Although it could modify and refurbish the old Wolfsburg plant, the Germans consider that the development of a new production facility from scratch is much more advantageous. According to Ralf Brandstaetter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, the factory would produce about 250,000 cars a year.
Subsequently, once the new plant starts assembling vehicles, the old one will enter a modernization process.
“We are planning the construction of the greenfield because it is more efficient and without the limitations of the already existing structures. This way we gain time and space to gradually modernize the main factory and to increase production as well, ”said Ralf Brandstaetter.
Although he did not make an estimate of the costs required to develop the new plant, the head of the Volkswagen brand explained that he aims for a production time of about 10 hours per vehicle for the future Trinity model. Such a cadence would be similar to that of the new Tesla plant in Gruenheide, near Berlin, where the Model 3 assembly is starting these days.
Discussions on how to maintain the competitiveness of Volkswagen plants with the transition to assembling electric cars have led to rising tensions between the head of the Volkswagen group, Herbert Diess, and the union leaders supported by the company’s main shareholders. Diess last week urged workers to prepare for swift reforms to keep up with Tesla.
Herbert Diess also warned that Tesla is rapidly improving the quality of its cars and will drastically reduce production time at the Gruenheide plant to just 10 hours per car. During this time, Volkswagen’s main electric car factory in Zwickau needs more than 30 hours to assemble the vehicle. According to Volkswagen officials, the cadence will be increased next year.
A decision on the design of the new plant in Wolfsburg could be taken in December when the Volkswagen Group’s investment plans will be reviewed.
– Volkswagen ID.5: the new member of the German manufacturer’s family of electric models
– Next year, the Volkswagen Group will have 27 models on the MEB electric platform