Volkswagen began series production of the all-electric ID.3 on 4 November, with Angela Merkel and Group CEO Herbert Diess present to watch the first car roll off the assembly line at the plant in Zwickau.
The ID.3 is the first model in the latest generation to hit the road under Volkswagen’s ‘global electric offensive’, and the company is the first volume manufacturer to entirely convert a large car factory from internal-combustion engines to e-mobility (the phased transformation of the factory began in 2018 and will be completed in 2021).
Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen board member for e-Mobility (www.volkswagenag.com
), said: “Production start of the ID.3 ushers in a new era for Volkswagen — one that is comparable to the first Beetle or the first Golf.
Zwickau will become the lead plant for this new era in the automotive industry; we are initiating a system change-over in the automotive industry that will unfold over the next one or two decades.”
Conversion work at the factory is making good progress.
In the final expansion stage from 2021, the team at Zwickau will be building up to 330,000 all-electric vehicles a year.
The plant will then be producing six models based on the MEB vehicle platform for three group brands: Volks-wagen, Audi and Seat.
In addition to conversion of the manufacturing lines, a total of 12 new halls and buildings are being built at the Zwickau plant in order to achieve the planned increase in daily production capacity from 1,350 to 1,500 vehicles.
The largest single project is expansion of the press shop.
From 2021, almost all pressed parts required for the cars built in Zwickau will be produced on site.
Investment in the press shop amounts to some 74 million euros, and some 50 partner firms are supporting the conversion.