Volkswagen gears up for €23bn ‘technology offensive’

Volkswagen has revealed plans for a €22.8bn plant investment that will focus on modular production and the path to e-mobility.

Volkswagen

Part of the German automaker’s Transform 2025+ strategy, the money will see upgrades to production operations around the world over the next four years. Germany itself will account for around €14bn of the spend, with the company’s Zwickau plant undergoing a transformation to a pure e-mobility facility. VW will initially focus on the development of its new modular electric drive kit (MEB), which will form the foundations for its new generation of electric vehicles.

The first of those – the Volkswagen ID – is expected to be launched in 2020. VW expects to produce 100,000 in the first year, and claims at least one million of its EVs will be on the roads by 2025. According to the company, the MEB will enable it to produce EVs with ranges from 400km to 600km, rapid charging capabilities, and major package benefits at prices comparable to diesel vehicles. MEB will act as the underlying production platform for Volkswagen vehicles ranging from the compact A segment to 7-seaters in the B segment.   

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Production of the Golf and Passat at Zwickau is set to be relocated to VW’s Wolfsburg and Emden plant’s respectively. To accommodate the shift, Wolfsburg will see a €2.9bn investment, with €1.1bn spent at Emden. At its German components plants, Volkswagen is investing more than €750m in Brunswick, about €1.5bn in Kassel and more than €800m in Emden.

“The investment package which has now been adopted will give a decisive boost to the largest product and technology offensive in the history of the brand,” said Dr Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO. “It is our objective to position Volkswagen sustainably in the lead in the volume segments and to take up a leading position in e-mobility.”