German automotive giant Volkswagen has scrapped plans for an additional electric vehicle (EV) factory in Wolfsburg, blaming weak demand, but nevertheless remains committed to transitioning to 100% EVs and has promised a new electric SUV by 2026.
A host of announcements and reporting around Volkswagen’s immediate EV plans have circulated in recent days, and follows confirmation from Volkswagen in mid September that it would cut 269 employment contracts at its all-electric Zwickau production facility due to “current market conditions”.
The Zwickau plant employs around 10,700 staff and produces six EV models from three Volkswagen brands. This news was followed early last week by the news that Volkswagen would suspend production of its ID.3 and Cupra Born EVs at its Zwickau and Dresden plants in Germany across the first two weeks of October due to weaker demand.
It has now ditched plans to build an additional plant at Wolfsburg and will instead integrate its SSP architecture for EVs that is to be rolled out later this decade into existing and modernised structures at the main plant at Wolfsburg.
“Our industry faces complex challenges as it undergoes a transformation that is being conducted under difficult business conditions,” said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.
“It is all the more important that we prepare our individual plants and the Volkswagen production network in Germany for the future.”
Volkswagen added that the VW Golf would eventually be transitioned to an SSP architecture and would also be built at Wolfsburg.
The company’s larger ‘Trinity’ vehicle project – a flagship electric sedan which was originally due to be unveiled in 2026, but was then delayed to 2028 – is expected to begin production at its Zwickau plant.
Rounding at the revamp of Volkswagen’s EV plans was the company’s promise of “an all-electric SUV for the high-volume A segment” which the company plans to begin producing at Wolfsburg in 2026 – though there were no other details of this promised small SUV.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.