The Volkswagen ID.3 is now being produced in Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden*, Germany.
This is the 4th Volkswagen Group factory that is producing electric vehicles based on the MEB (Modular Electric Drive) platform. This follows the opening of the Zwickau factory a short distance to the southwest of Dresden and the subsequent opening of Anting and Foshan factories in China at the end of 2020. The four factories combined can produce 900,000 vehicles a year.
The factory isn’t just a factory for Volkswagen, though. “We are a production plant, tourist attraction, event location, test lab and delivery center – all in one,” Danny Auerswald, the site manager, states. Here’s a breakdown of the various operational components of this facility:
“In addition to production, this will create new or expanded areas of business. There are currently 380 employees working at Volkswagen’s Dresden site.
“In future, significantly more vehicles will be handed over to customers in the Transparent Factory. To that end, a second delivery point was recently set up in the factory – which is unique in the automobile industry. The number of vehicle handovers to customers is expected to increase from 1,301 in 2019 and 3,296 in 2020 to more than 5,000 vehicles in 2021. The goal is around 9,700 deliveries a year by 2022.
“The Functional Testing station in Dresden is being further expanded. It is an integral part of the worldwide network of testing stations for the overall vehicle development. Its focal points: The testing of assistance systems, mobile online services, engines and chassis.
“In the Technical Vehicle Service, used vehicles will be inspected and repaired. Electric vehicles will also be prepared for delivery at the Transparent Factory. The goal is to deliver vehicles produced in Dresden primarily in Dresden.
“Moreover, the topic of Production 4.0 will be driven forward in the Transparent Factory. The guiding principle is the automation and digitalization of complex operations within assembly and logistics. Specifically, the factory will act as a planned pilot plant in the Company for the development and application of new technologies in real series processes.”
While the historic Zwickau factory was the first to produce an ID vehicle — the ID.3 back in June 2o20 — Volkswagen indicates that it wants to develop this Dresden facility into the “Home of the ID.” Engaging in multiple aspects of ID vehicle development, including offering customers a close-up show of how their vehicles are made, will turn the Transparent Factory into a multi-pronged heart of the ID revolution. Or, as Volkswagen phrases it:
“The central goal: To act as a beacon for Volkswagen in Germany, offering customers, visitors and guests a holistic experience of the ID. family – from initial advice and test drives, to production visits, co-constructing the ID.3 and modern event formats, up to the handover of electric vehicles. An additional focus of the strategic realignment is the development of a research and innovation site that drives innovative projects on a pilot scale for later use in large capacity sites at Volkswagen.”
“Here, visitors, customers and guests come into direct contact with the mobility of tomorrow,” Auerswald adds.
The company is still increasing production of the ID.3, ID.4, and other EV models on a weekly basis at its three other operational MEB-focused factories. Further, Volkswagen plans to start EV production at factories in Emden (Germany), Hanover (Germany), and Chattanooga (Tennessee, USA) in coming months.
For the past few years, before ID.3 production was readied at the plant, Volkswagen produced the e-Golf at the Transparent Factory. From 2017 until production ended late last year, Volkswagen built 50,401 units of the e-Golf there.
Indicating the significance of ID.3 production starting at the Transparent Factory, those in attendance for the launch included Saxony’s Minister of Economy and Transport, Martin Dulig; Mayor of Dresden Dirk Hilbert; the management of Volkswagen Sachsen — Dr. Stefan Loth (Technology & Logistics), Karen Kutzner (Finance & Controlling) and Dirk Coers (Human Resources); and the Chairman of the General Works Council of Volkswagen Saxony, Jens Rothe.
You can visit the Transparent Factory from Monday to Saturday between 9:30 am and 6:30 pm, and on Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
*Which is just a hop, skip, and a short high-speed rail ride from my home in Poland. So, I hope to visit it when we finally get back to Poland.
All images courtesy of Volkswagen.