Volkswagen has resumed round-the-clock operation at its main electric vehicle plant in Zwickau, Germany after months of supply chain nightmares – due in large part to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Chairman of the board for Volkswagen Saxony, Stefan Loth, confirmed on LinkedIn that the plant is back at “full power”, and that the three shifts were reinstated on June 13.
“The supply of parts is now so stable that we have additional capacity to process the high order backlog,” said Mr Loth in remarks translated from German to English.
Volkswagen Saxony, which runs the production plant, has confirmed output at the Zwickau plant now consists of around 1300 MEB-based (MEB is VW’s modular EV architecture) Volkswagen, Audi and Cupra vehicles per day.
MEB-based EVs that are produced at this plant include the Volkswagen ID.3 hatch and ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs, as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron SUV and Cupra Born hatch.
Volkswagen AG’s largest EV production plant first took a hit in March 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine and disrupted supply chains. Production at this time was reported to be around 900 vehicles per day.
At the time of the production disruptions, the Zwickau plant was Volkswagen’s only production plant in Germany that produced MEB-based EVs.
Since then Volkswagen has started series production of the ID.4 in Emden, and the ID. Buzz people mover is now being mass-produced in Hanover.
The German automaker has also started building around 35 ID.3 hatchbacks per day at its small-scale Transparent Factory in Dresden.
Skoda’s production plant in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, also felt the effects of the supply chain constraints but in late April it confirmed it’s gradually ramping up production over a two-month period.
In the long term it hopes to produce up to 370 MEB-based Enyaq and Enyaq Coupe vehicles per day.
Even more recently, Skoda said it’s taking the production of wiring harnesses from Ukraine to a home plant in the Czech Republic.
Despite the production improvements pronounced by company senior staff, none of these MEB-based Volkswagen Group products are currently available in Australia.
The first MEB-based EV currently set to arrive Down Under is the Cupra Born, due in the first quarter of 2023. One of these was recently spied at the Sydney Airport, being here for road testing, evaluation, training and promotional activities.
At this stage the Volkswagen ID.4 isn’t expected until late 2023 due to huge Northern Hemisphere demand and Australia’s lack of CO2 targets placing us down the pecking order, while Skoda won’t start taking orders for the Enyaq until 2023, which suggests deliveries in 2024.
The Audi Q4 e-tron, Volkswagen ID.5 and Volkswagen ID. Buzz aren’t currently locked in for Australia, with the latter high up on Volkswagen Australia’s wish list.
Whether the healthier production situation outlined here could pull forward arrival timing for us, remains to be seen.
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