Saxon world premiere

For the first time internationally, a large car factory is completely transformed from a combustion engine to an electric drive. The Volkswagen plant in Zwickau thus becomes the largest and most efficient electric power plant in Europe. All-electric ID.31 have been rolling off the assembly line here since 4 November.

Here we go: These are the first fully electric ID.3 models. They have been rolling off the production line at the Zwickau plant since 4 November

Saxony is Volkswagen's Silicon Valley: The Group is completely converting its plant in Zwickau to e-mobility by 2020. 1.2 billion euros will be invested in the ultra-modern location in Saxony for this purpose. The three-year conversion is very demanding. After all, it takes place during ongoing production.

On November 4, the Group started volume production of the ID.31 parallel to the conversion. With the ID.31, the car becomes CO2-neutral and makes a valuable contribution to climate protection.

Saxony is an important part of the largest electrical offensive in the automotive industry. With the transformation to e-mobility, Volkswagen is making its German plants and jobs fit for the future. The conversion of the Zwickau plant marks the starting point for the conversion of all Volkswagen production to sustainable mobility.

The Group has been converting its Zwickau plant to e-mobility since 2018. In the final expansion phase from 2022, carmakers will be able to produce up to 330,000 purely electric cars per year here. Six models for three brands will then be built in the production halls: Volkswagen, Audi, Seat. The mission is clear: Volkswagen is building the attractive, affordable electric car for everyone. An electric car for millions - not just for millionaires.

New logo on ID.3: sits!

All jobs will be preserved

"We planned the conversion of the Zwickau site very carefully. Detailed preparation and planning is the most important aspect of such a mega-project. After all, we are talking here about the beginning of a new era in the automotive state of Saxony and this transformation is taking place without interrupting production," says Reinhard de Vries, Managing Director of Technology and Logistics at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH.

One of two production lines has already been rebuilt

ID.3 are already being produced here

Until the current production start of the ID.31, a production line at the Zwickau plant has been completely rebuilt for the production of electric cars - while the 2nd line is still in operation. At the same time, the Golf Variant will continue to be produced as a combustion vehicle in Zwickau until mid-2020. From summer 2020, the second production line will be rebuilt - also during ongoing production on the MEB line. There is no doubt about it: the Zwickau team has the know-how and the passion to build electric cars of the highest quality.

The Golf and Golf Variant models will be rolling off the production line in Zwickau until mid-2020. Mirjam Chlouba is fitting a side window at the moment

In addition to the conversion of the production lines, three other major construction projects are underway at the Zwickau plant. They ensure that the maximum production capacity can be increased from 1,350 (by 2017) to 1,500 vehicles (from 2022) per day: the expansion of the pressing plant, the construction of a new body storage facility and the construction of a new logistics hall.

This is the new body shop for ID. Models, ...

... while the Golf Variant will continue to be built until mid-2020 parallel to the conversion of the Zwickau plant to the fully electric ID.3.

"Like changing clothes in the closet"

"The conversion of the plant is making rapid progress and is right on schedule," says Reinhard de Vries. "It's like moving your wardrobe," he compares and explains: "While we're expanding and optimizing our plant here in Zwickau, we're automating and digitizing the entire production process in parallel. 9,000 tons of steel will be newly installed, 50,000 square meters of hall space will be erected and 1,625 robots will be installed in the body shop. 50 partner companies support the conversion. 30 percent of the existing systems are reused.

And as if that weren't enough restructuring, all 8,000 employees are simultaneously qualifying for the new tasks in a major further training offensive. All employees are taking part in information events on e-mobility. 3,000 Zwickau colleagues complete the e-mobility training center, where they receive detailed training for the new production requirements. 1,500 employees acquire the so-called high-voltage driving licence. "In total, the Zwickau team will complete around 13,000 training days by the end of 2019," says Holger Naduschewski, Managing Director of the Zwickau Volkswagen training institute responsible for this.

All 8,000 employees at the Zwickau plant are trained for the production of ID.3.

From autumn 2020, the ID.3 will also roll off the production line in the Transparent Factory

The Gläserne Manufaktur is also successfully involved. After years of producing the e-Golf, the important location is now adapting to ID.31 production and its buyers.  Starting in autumn 2020, the ID.31 will also be assembled in Dresden - customers will then also have the opportunity to carry out the last steps on their e-vehicle themselves. At the same time, the location is to be strengthened as an attractive visitor and customer destination and further developed as a Center of Future Mobility, in which Volkswagen develops and tests innovative technologies together with partners from industry and start-ups. The continuation of new business areas such as the functional test station will be stepped up. It has already been decided that the future ID.31 models can also be picked up again in Dresden in the Transparent Factory.

"The start of production of the ID.31 marks the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen. We want to bring e-mobility out of its niche and make it affordable for millions of people. The basis for this is large quantities and efficient production. This is why we are bundling e-car production in Saxony and making Zwickau the nucleus of our major e-mobility offensive," says Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management for e-mobility at the Volkswagen brand. He continued: "The Volkswagen brand has always stood for making progress and innovation achievable for many. This was the case with the Beetle, this is the case today with the Golf - and this will also be the case in the future for the fully networked electric vehicles of the new ID. Family apply". Saxony is ready.

Automotive construction in Zwickau has a long tradition: 115 years ago, August Horch & Cie. Automobilbau AG and Audi Automobilwerke GmbH in Zwickau began producing vehicles. Both companies were later merged into Auto Union AG and finally into AUDI AG. After reunification, Volkswagen returned to the region in 1990 with the founding of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH. Since the site was re-established in 1990, almost six million vehicles have left the factory halls. The Zwickau vehicle plant covers an area of 1.8 million square metres, of which 1.4 million square metres are covered with buildings.

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1 ID.3: The vehicle is not yet available for sale in Europe.