Volkswagen plans to add a second plant near its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, the automaker said on Tuesday.
Expected to be given final approval in December, the plant will be a state-of-the-art facility with a high level of automation to help boost efficiency. It is expected to have a capacity of around 250,000 vehicles, or about half the capacity of the current Wolfsburg plant which today builds the Golf, Tiguan and Touran models, as well as SEAT's Tarraco.
The decision to go with a new plant instead of upgrading the current Wolfsburg plant is to avoid the limitations of the existing structure and allow new, possibly radical production techniques to be introduced. VW said it is aiming for a 10-hour production time for a vehicle, which is the same target Tesla has for its new plant under construction just outside of Berlin. The Tesla plant is expected to be operational in the coming months.
VW's new plant will initially build the automaker's much-hyped Project Trinity, an affordable, compact electric vehicle due in 2026. The vehicle will serve as a sort of technological flagship for VW, with its Project Trinity code name a reference to the three main tenets the vehicle represents: a new platform, new production processes, and self-driving technology integrating artificial intelligence.
The basis of the Project Trinity will be Volkswagen Group's highly modular Scalable Systems Platform, or SSP for short. First announced in March, the new platform will eventually underpin most vehicles across VW Group's diverse brand portfolio, and standardize not only structures but also battery cells and software.