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InvestmentsVolkswagen plans new site in Germany to counter Tesla's gigafactory By Reuters

Volkswagen plans new site in Germany to counter Tesla’s gigafactory By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A new brand of German carmaker Volkswagen is unveiled on the VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

By Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Volkswagen stated on Tuesday it plans to construct a new state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing unit shut to its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, hoping to increase its recreation because the opening of Tesla (NASDAQ:)’s gigafactory close to Berlin attracts nearer.

The plant, which nonetheless requires approval by Volkswagen (DE:)’s supervisory board over the approaching weeks, is a part of the group’s Trinity mission below which the carmaker desires to construct a flagship electrical sedan in Wolfsburg from 2026.

Volkswagen, which gave no price estimate for the manufacturing unit, stated it aimed for a manufacturing time of 10 hours per car for the Trinity mannequin, related to how lengthy it is going to take Tesla to assemble the Model 3 at its deliberate site in Gruenheide.

Constructing an all-new plant is an alternate to adapting the prevailing Wolfsburg plant to produce the Trinity mannequin, which VW says would restrict the probabilities for extra radical modifications to the manufacturing course of.

“That’s why we’re planning greenfield construction: efficient and without limitations by existing structures,” Volkswagen model CEO Ralf Brandstaetter stated in an announcement.

“That way we are gaining time and space to gradually modernise the main factory in a far-reaching way and raise production there, too, to a new level.”

Volkswagen’s Trinity mannequin is aiming for a stage 4 autonomous customary, in which the automotive can deal with all points of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has benchmarked Wolfsburg towards Tesla’s German site, anticipated to open later this 12 months or early subsequent, arguing that VW’s essential site was manner behind in phrases of effectivity and velocity.

This has helped to escalate a battle between Diess and labour representatives, who’ve accused the CEO of spreading concern by warning of main job cuts {that a} shift in direction of leaner quicker manufacturing would entail.

Diess earlier on Tuesday stated there have been no plans for mass layoffs.

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