The end of production of the Golf Variant concludes the Volkswagen Zwickau plant’s 116-year history of building combustion engine vehicles. The last model with a combustion engine—a seventh-generation Golf R Estate with 2.0-liter gasoline engine—left the assembly line on Friday at the Zwickau car factory.
Going forward, only electric models of Volkswagen and in future also of the sister brands Audi and Seat will be produced in Zwickau.
The Zwickau plant has been building cars since 1904, including Horch models, and in GDR times the Trabant came off the assembly line here. In May 1990, Volkswagen started production at the plant in western Saxony. Over the course of the past 30 years, 6,049,207 Volkswagen cars of the models Polo, Golf, Golf Estate, Passat Saloon and Passat Variant have been produced in Zwickau.
Today is a historic day for us. We are proud of what we have achieved so far, and at the same time are greatly looking forward to what the future holds for us. The trend towards electric mobility will continue to pick up speed. We will meet this demand from Zwickau: we have already created the capacity to build 330,000 vehicles next year.
—Reinhard de Vries, Managing Director of Technology and Logistics at Volkswagen Sachsen
Work has already started in Hall 6 where the Golf Estate has been produced so far. After a conversion phase lasting several weeks during the summer, the first electric vehicles will be produced there at the end of the year; alongside the ID.4, an SUV from the sister brand Audi is also planned. Series production of the ID.3 1st Edition already started at the site in west Saxony in November 2019, and the start of production of the ID.4 will follow this summer.
With the step-by-step transformation of the Zwickau plant, Volkswagen is for the first time switching a large car factory completely to electric mobility. The investments for conversion amount to around €1.2 billion. In the final expansion stage from 2021, six MEB models will be built for three Group brands in Zwickau.
The ID.3 is the first vehicle based on the modular electric toolkit (MEB) from Volkswagen. The platform was developed specifically for electric cars and optimally exploits the possibilities offered by electric mobility. The ID.3 is therefore characterized by long ranges, plenty of interior space and dynamic driving behavior. The base version will cost less than €30,000. Early birds have been able to place binding orders for their reserved vehicles since 17 June. The market launch of the ID.3 1st Edition will take place almost simultaneously throughout Europe in September 2020.
In addition to the Zwickau vehicle plant, Volkswagen Sachsen has two other locations in Saxony: The Chemnitz engine plant produces, among other things, modern direct gasoline injectors. The e-Golf will roll off the production line at the Transparent Factory in Dresden by the end of the year, and from 2021 the ID.3 will be produced there. The bodies for the Lamborghini and Bentley luxury SUVs will continue to be produced in Zwickau.