ZWICKAU, Germany—This city has been synonymous with automotive production for more than 110 years. Today’s its home to a recently transformed Volkswagen AG factory that mass-produces electric vehicles.
The automaker is assembling six EV models under the Audi, Cupra and VW brands. Vehicles include the Audi Q4 e-tron, the Cupra Born and the Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5.
Volkswagen claims that its Zwickau factory is the first large-scale facility of any volume manufacturer worldwide to switch over all production from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles.
During the past four years, VW has invested more than €1 billion to convert the Zwickau plant from ICE vehicle production into a digital, flexible, highly efficient showcase factory for the manufacture of EVs. The retooled facility includes a new body shop and state-of-the art production technology, such as smart robots. In addition, a driverless transportation system moves components to the assembly line completely autonomously.
Some 9,000 permanent staff working at the site received training in the new Industry 4.0 technology as part of a major training initiative. For example, all employees attended education sessions on EVs. A total of 3,000 production workers completed the training center’s e-mobility program to prepare them for new production requirements.