After 116 years, in Volkswagen plant in Zwickau, in Germany, they have produced the last car with combustion engine: a seventh-generation Golf R Variant. Since now onwards, in Zwickau they will manufacture only electric models of Volkswagen and, in the future, of Audi and SEAT brands, too. This choice implements for the first time the total shifting of a factory to the electric mobility.
In May 1990, Volkswagen started its production in this plant in Western Saxony and, in thirty years, they have manufactured 6,049,207 cars of Polo, Golf, Golf Variant, Passat sedan and Passat Variant models. After a conversion phase that will last some weeks, the first electric vehicles will be produced since the end of the current year.
The mass-production of the ID.3 1ST edition started in this factory in November 2019, while the manufacturing of the electric ID.4 SUV will follow in the course of Summer. ID.3 is the first model based on the MEB electric modular platform of Volkswagen, architecture purposely developed for battery cars, which optimally exploits the possibilities offered by electric mobility.
At full rate, the overall production capacity of Zwickau plant will reach 330,000 cars yearly.
The investments for the transition amount to about 1.2 billion Euros. In the final expansion stage, since 2021, here they will produce six models based on the MEB electric modular platform of three different brands of Volkswagen Group, becoming the biggest factory of electric cars in Europe.
Through a specific training, all 8,000 workers will be qualified to produce electric cars and to handle high-voltage systems. The team will complete around 20,500 total training days by the end of 2020 and all this will assure the certainty of workplaces in the long term in Zwickau.
(by Lara Morandotti)