The city of Zwickau in Eastern Germany has deep automotive roots, originally serving as the home of Horch and then
in the teens, and then those companies were merged and moved to Ingolstadt after World War 2. Later it became the home of Trabant production until
bought it in 1990.
Pretty soon, the VW plant at Zwickau won't just be an important part of automotive history; it will be making history again when it finishes its transition into the VW Group's first all-electric vehicle production facility, according to a release Volkswagen issued on Thursday.
"It's my firm conviction that Germany as an automotive location must also lead the way when it comes to electric mobility. That's why we're deliberately converting the Zwickau plant into the largest and most efficient e-car site in Europe," said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group. "It's impressive to see what efforts the team is making to help achieve that transformation. Zwickau can become a model for transformation in our industry."
Volkswagen plans on offering 20 new electric models by 2025 and hopes to sell around 1 million EVs by that time as well, so the changes being made to the Zwickau plant and its workforce represent just part of a colossal investment by one of the world's largest car companies.
"The transformation to electric mobility is a huge task for Volkswagen, Volkswagen Sachsen (Saxony) and its workforce. We've successfully accomplished the first phase of that," said Thomas Ulbrich, VW board member responsible for e-Mobility. "Around half of the 1,500 new robots for body construction are already in operation, for example. The paint shop is currently being expanded and we'll commence conversion of the first line in final assembly as planned in the summer."
Volkswagen's newly named and being-preordered-like-crazy ID 3 will be among the first vehicles built there when it goes into production later in 2019.