German carmaker Volkswagen said on Sept. 29 that it plans to produce a new generation of Trinity electric cars at its Zvico plant, while a new factory plan drawn up by the former chief executive of Volkswagen Group will no longer be implemented.
On the same day, Volkswagen Group held a meeting of the supervisory board and discussed where to produce Trinity electric vehicles. After the meeting, the group decided not to build a new factory in Wolfsburg Warmenau, Wolfsburg, Germany, while the Trinity car project will be transferred to the Zvico plant in Germany, which will be responsible for production.
It is understood that Herbert Diess, the former chief executive of Volkswagen, had planned to launch the Trinity electric vehicle based on Volkswagen's new Extensible system platform (SSP) in 2026. According to the original plan, Volkswagen planned to build a new factory for the model, but Volkswagen also considered revamping its Wolfsburg plant because of delays in development. However, Oliver Blume, the current chief executive of Volkswagen, delayed the project for two years soon after taking office to ease pressure on CARIAD, the troubled software subsidiary.
CARIAD, a software division owned by Volkswagen Group, was founded by Herbert Deiss, former chief executive of Volkswagen Group, after media reports that delays in software development and cost overruns led to Dice's departure in September last year, followed by the new chief executive of Volkswagen Group, Oliver Blume. Then in November, overseas media reported that Oliver Blume planned to postpone the launch of the Trinity model and the pure electric SSP platform, a move that would change Volkswagen's electric vehicle strategy for the next decade. Volkswagen plans to postpone the launch of the Trinity electric vehicle project from 2026 to 2030, and is considering abandoning plans to build a 2 billion euro plant near Wolfsburg, Germany, the report said.
In early 2022, Volkswagen released a project codenamed Trinity and released a preview map of the model incubated by the project. Sources at the time said that the model hatched by the Volkswagen Trinity project was a four-door sports car, but according to the preview picture, it was not the body shape of a traditional car, but with a more beautiful roof arc. In addition, there are media reports that the Trinity model will provide 700km WLTP mileage and support L4 autopilot system. But the Trinity project was put on hold shortly after Volkswagen launched it.
With the confirmation of the Trinity electric vehicle production plant, it may mean that the car will be ready for mass production in the near future. Volkswagen Group pointed out that the change plan is part of Volkswagen's model production and distribution plan by 2028. Thomas Schaefer, chief executive of Volkswagen, said: "the newly approved vehicle allocation plan will make a significant contribution to a strong and competitive Volkswagen brand." Volkswagen also stressed that the Golf model will "lead the electric future" at its main Wolfsburg plant, while Osnabruk (Osnabrueck plant) will continue to assemble Porsche models, including an electric model.
The Zwickau plant, which is responsible for the subsequent production of Trinity electric cars, is one of four plants for Volkswagen to make electric cars in the German market, followed by Hanover, Dresden and Emden, Automotive Industry Watch reported earlier. The Zvico factory is the largest production base in Europe, with an annual production capacity of 300000 trams, producing Volkswagen ID3 and Audi Q4e-tron models based on Volkswagen Group's special platform for electric vehicles, MEB. The plant began to be renovated in 2018, when Volkswagen invested $1.29 billion to convert it from internal combustion engine cars to electric cars, and the Zwickau plant now produces Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5, as well as other Volkswagen brands such as Audi Q4 e-tron and Cupra Born. In November 2019, Volkswagen ID.3 was officially put into production at the Zwickau plant and delivered to the European market in the following spring. Data show that the factory produced a total of 218000 electric vehicles in 2022.
The Zvico factory is now facing weak demand. On Sept. 14, Volkswagen said it would lay off 269 employees at the plant because of weak demand for electric vehicles, whose 12-month contracts expire in the near future. At the same time, Volkswagen will also adjust the shift work at the factory. But a Volkswagen spokesman pointed out that the group is still 100% convinced of the road to the development of electric vehicles, in which the Zvico factory plays a central role. A Volkswagen spokesman said on Sept. 26 that Volkswagen's plants in Zwickau and Dresden will stop production of Volkswagen's ID.3 and Cupra Born models in the first two weeks of October because of weak demand. Zwickau will cut production of new cars during the autumn holiday in Saxony from October 2 to October 13.
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