Competition from new players in the German car market, such as Tesla, has pushed VW to accelerate its plans to convert its main plant into an electric vehicle production center, the company announced today.
“There is no doubt that we need to discuss the competitiveness of our Wolfsburg plant in relation to new entrants to the market,” VW spokesman Michael Manske said as he commented, photographing Tesla and the new Chinese car manufacturers that have emerged in Europe.
“Tesla is setting new standards for productivity,” he said, referring to a Tesla plant under construction near Berlin, which, at the peak of its capacity, can produce 5,000 to 10,000 cars a week–more than double the total production of electric vehicles in Germany in 2020.
However, the spokesman refuted the German newspaper Handelsblatt’s report that Volkswagen’s CEO told a supervisory board in September that the transition to producing electric cars would cost the company up to 30,000 jobs.
“The discussion is ongoing and there are already a lot of good ideas. There are no clear scenarios,” VW spokesman Michael Manske said according to the publication.
German automakers are struggling to compete with the most efficient production platforms for electric cars. While Volkswagen takes about 30 hours to produce its electric car, the ID.3, Tesla only needs 10 to build the Model 3.
Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant, the largest in the world with more than 50,000 employees, is not currently manufacturing electric vehicles, but the company plans to produce an electric sedan there from 2026