Automotive News Europe reported on Wednesday that Volkswagen President Herbert Diess said during a recent internal videoconference that the automaker will convert Wolfsburg into the largest electric car plant in the world.
The facility, which today produces 800,000 vehicles per year, will be updated with new processes and systems to replace the current otto and diesel engines, as well as exhausts and fuel tanks, with electric propellers, control modules and lithium batteries. .
The CEO revealed to managers that VW’s goal is to outperform Gigafactory Berlin, and to deploy a complete manufacturing system in ten hours, which is a benchmark promised by Elon Musk for high-volume production at Tesla.
If that goal is achieved, the time to manufacture an electric car would be half of what it takes today to produce a Golf or Tiguan, which would signal the possibility of doubling the factory’s current production.
An internal statement from Volkswagen reveals that Wolfsburg will become a “pioneer factory” in highly automated manufacturing in the production of electric cars. The historic factory of the four chimneys will also be responsible for the construction of a flagship of the VW brand, which should be configured in a similar way to Audi’s Artemis technological project, and under the code name Landjet.
Herbert Diess spoke to managers the following day after receiving a vote of confidence from the VW board of directors for his goal of making the German giant more agile. This means that more factories will be converted to manufacture electric vehicles inside and outside Germany.
The CEO said that although VW has gone through the covid-19 crisis without major hiccups, its costs are still very high compared to those of its competitors. In this sense, the company announced, on Monday (14), a plan to cut its fixed costs by 5% by 2023.