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Volkswagen investing €3.5B in German plants for e-mobility and digitalization; MEB production, pilot plant for batteries and modules

Volkswagen will invest €3.5-billion (US$3.7-billion) investment in the future-oriented areas of e-mobility and digitalization for its German plants. As part of an agreement with its General Works Council (i.e., labor), the Board of Management announced that the Volkswagen brand’s German plants will develop and produce electric vehicles and components based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). (Earlier post.)

The MEB is the foundation for an entirely new generation of long-range battery-electric vehicles that will be connected, autonomous, open and priced for the volume market as required by Volkswagen’s positioning. The first production MEB vehicle, a version of the I.D. concept shown this year at the Paris show (earlier post), will—with a range of up to 373 miles and a market introduction in 2020—be priced approximately at the level of a diesel Golf, before any subsidies.

With the pact for the future, we will be entering the field of next-generation e-mobility. The new cars based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit and electric components from our plants will make our German locations pioneers of electrification within the Volkswagen Group. The Works Council has ensured that these future-oriented vehicles will be made in Germany and not in other countries.

—General Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh

As part of the investment in the electric and connected future, Volkswagen will build a pilot plant for battery cells and cell modules—contrary to its earlier position, which was to rely solely upon suppliers.

Under the agreement with the Works Council, the plants at Wolfsburg and Zwickau will assume responsibility for the production of electric vehicles based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). (Volkswagen just announced that the new e-Golf—which is an electric version of an MQB vehicle, not part of the future generation MEB vehicles—will also be produced in Dresden at the Transparent Factory, as well as at Wolfsburg. Earlier post.)

To ensure efficient capacity deployment, a further MEB model will be produced at the Emden plant. At Wolfsburg, an additional Volkswagen Group vehicle will also be produced.

Future-oriented work is to be divided between the main German components plants. The Brunswick plant will continue to produce the battery system for the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) and will also be developing and producing the battery system for the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB).

The Kassel plant will develop the MEB drive system and to be responsible for the assembly of the entire system in addition to electric transmission production.

The Salzgitter plant will produce and supply MEB drive system components. In addition, the plant will be building the pilot facility for battery cells and cell modules.


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