Amid the biggest crisis in its history, the Volkswagen Group accelerated the transformation into a provider of electric cars. According to company circles, next Friday (November 16) the supervisory board will provide the green light for CEO Herbert Diess's plan to convert three factories to the production of pure battery-powered vehicles in the next few years – two more than previously planned.
Little is sought after the middle class Passat car will be moved from Emden to the Skoda factory in the Czech Republic. This must be made at the VW factory in East Frisia with 9,000 employees space to build e-cars there on a large scale. Also the VW transporter factory in Hanover must be reversed. In Zwickau in Saxony, such preparations had already taken place. "With this strategy, we want to get a job in a country with high prices," said a top manager.
The biggest car manufacturers in the world are under pressure due to the diesel crisis and sharper climate problems caused by it and now continue to attack. "We don't just want to obey the law, we want to surpass them," the insider said. The aim is to comply with the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement. Water for related investments, the Group wants to pass savings programs in billions of dollars on several brands. "We have to do it ourselves." The decision to invest € 34 billion in electromobility, autonomous driving, digitalization and new mobility services by the end of 2022 is unlikely to increase significantly.
To have the amount of energy storage needed for the planned increase in the number of electric cars, Lower Saxony is negotiating with several insiders about partnerships with Korea's cell battery manufacturer SK Innovation. The goal is the construction of a battery cell factory in Europe, as mentioned in the company. In Germany, it is currently not economically feasible without major political assistance. "Politics and business must shape a shared future," said a top manager. According to one company insider, Federal Finance Minister Peter Altmaier's (CDU) plan is independent of this and has promised initial funding for the industrial consortium for battery cell production. Details are expected next week when Altmaier speaks at a congress in Berlin about electric mobility.
E-CAR FOR UNDER 20,000 EURO
Volkswagen's plan for the plant in Emden envisages the construction of a highly profitable electric model with a capacity of 200,000 units per year. Internal "entry access" vehicles must be available at less than 20,000 euros. In addition, the Passat I.D. electricity Aero with a quantity of 100,000 gliding units from the line, with which Emden will come at a capacity of around 300,000 vehicles.
In Hanover, successor to Bulli electricity I.D. Buzz will be built with more than 100,000 units. The factory, where, among other things, the T6 Transporter rolled from the line, must be in the next few years more electric vehicles, including insiders according to the SUV Lounge and I.D. Cargo. For this purpose, part of the production of the carrier must be sent to future Ford factories in Turkey. According to insiders, the second-largest US automaker is negotiating a broad alliance of autonomous cars and battery-powered city runouts.
The factory in Zwickau has been converted into a European site for the production of a series of electric vehicles. The start will be there at the end of 2019 I.D. For Neo, VW praised the first "CO2-neutral vehicle". I.D. Cross must follow from 2020. To make space, the production of Passat in Zwickau was stopped in the summer. The Golf and Golf Variants, which are still running from the production line, must be gradually handed over to the parent factory in Wolfsburg.
Passat in the future will be produced at the Skoda plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, where Superb has been produced. Both models share the same platform. For this purpose, the Ateca off-road vehicles from Seat and Karoq from Kvasiny must be relocated to a new plant, planned by Volkswagen with a capacity of 350,000 units in Eastern Europe. Location is still sought.
Source: Volkswagen AG