VW eyes second Wolfsburg factory for Project Trinity production

Representational image.

Volkswagen plans to construct a new factory near its Wolfsburg headquarters in Germany, the company has revealed. The second plant is set to produce Volkswagen’s upcoming Trinity sedan – the radical EV flagship model set to debut in 2026 – and is aimed at matching the manufacturing efficiency of Tesla’s new gigafactory in Gruenheide, Germany.

  • VW eyes matching Tesla’s manufacturing efficiency at new facility
  • New factory site awaiting supervisory board’s approval
  • Facility to produce up to 2,50,000 units per year

Volkswagen has indicated that it would be cheaper to construct the new factory than to retrofit its existing Wolfsburg site.

No cost estimate for the new plant has been revealed, although Volkswagen says it is aiming for a production time of one car every 10 hours for the Trinity.

Planned factory site awaiting approval from supervisory board

The planned site has been endorsed by the Volkswagen works council, but has yet to gain approval from the carmaker’s supervisory board. The plant is envisioned to produce up to 2,50,000 cars per year, in addition to the 5,00,000-unit annual capacity of Volkswagen’s existing Wolfsburg site.

“We are in talks with the works council,” said Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, “but the economic conditions have to be created.” A formal announcement outlining further details on the exact site of the new factory is expected in December. “We’re planning greenfield construction: efficient and without limitations by existing structures,” said Brandstätter in a statement to media representatives.

Tesla has announced that its new German gigafactory factory will boast an annual output of up to 5,00,000 cars.

The Trinity is described by Volkswagen as “a highly efficient flat-seat concept with an iconic design”. It is planned to be one of the first Volkswagen models to be based on the company’s new SSP (Scalable Systems Platform). It is claimed to possess greater modularity than Volkswagen's existing MEB structure, while aiding level four autonomous driving technology.

The news has emerged amid uncertainty over leadership of the VW Group. CEO Herbert Diess, has sparked tension with union representatives in recent weeks, after his pledge to match Tesla’s production efficiency was perceived as an indication that job cuts were incoming. He has since denied these claims, but Reuters reports VW's mediation council will meet soon to discuss his future at the firm.

Diess is contracted to serve as CEO of the VW Group until 2025, but Reuters has identified Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, Volkswagen boss Ralf Brandstätter and Audi's Markus Duesmann – among others – as potential replacements, should Diess step down.

Upcoming VW cars and SUVs for India

Coming to the Indian market, VW is set to launch the facelifted five-seat Tiguan next month. The carmaker had previously discontinued the model in favour of the larger three-row Tiguan Allspace, while moving to BS6 emission norms. The Tiguan will be a petrol-only SUV like the remainder of VW’s line-up and use the same 2.0-litre TSI unit as in the Allspace.

Come 2022, VW’s most important launch will be the new Vento replacement. The sister model to the recently revealed Skoda Slavia, the new midsize sedan will grow in size over the current Vento and is expected to share bits with the new Taigun – also built on the same platform.

Also see:

Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun prices hiked

2022 Volkswagen T-Roc revealed

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