From luxury automobiles to electric cars for everyone

Volkswagen’s factory in Dresden becomes a trailblazer for the electro-mobile future

Stefan Müller is an e-concierge. He works for the visitor service at Volkswagen’s “Gläserne Manufaktur” factory in Dresden. The young man advises and supports drivers wishing to charge their electric vehicle at the charging station in front of the factory. There is never a dull moment, because this is the busiest e-mobility station in Saxony’s capital city. Müller used to take visitors on tours of the Transparent Manufactory, explaining the details of the Phaeton luxury sedan. The car was manufactured in Dresden for 14 years, along with the Bentley Flying Spur.
The e-Golf is yet another bestseller
Nowadays, the plant is no longer associated with automotive luxury, but instead stands for the future of mobility. Production of the e-Golf1 began here in the spring. This particular model is powered by electricity and is well on the way to becoming the bestseller in its category.
Six giant solar panels in front of the “Gläserne Manufaktur” symbolize just how much the factory has changed.
This solar unit delivers green power for the fast-charging stations.
Surplus power is used in vehicle production.
Fleet customers and environmental incentive drive demand
Currently, more and more fleet operators are adding the e-Golf to their vehicles fleets. One of the most recent examples is N-ERGIE, an energy company headquartered in Nuremberg, which has ordered a total of 67 e-Golf. And Volkswagen’s special bonus for private customers helped to make the e-Golf the best-selling electric car in Germany in the third quarter of this year. Including all bonuses, the e-Golf doesn’t cost any more than the diesel version. And in Norway, the electro-pioneer, the e-Golf is even the top-selling passenger car of all. At the moment, delivery time for VW’s compact electric model is four months.
From 2020, the Volkswagen brand is planning to build further electric core models, becoming the world leader in this market as soon as possible. Saxony has a special role to play: the first models from the I.D. family of electric cars are to be built in Zwickau.
And Dresden will reap the benefits, too. “We are hoping for further e-models,” says Siegfried Fiebig, Speaker of the Management Board of Volkswagen Sachsen.
Test drives are a tourist attraction
The team in Dresden isn’t satisfied with just building cars and welcoming the customers who come to collect them. Visitors to the factory can enjoy a “hands-on” experience of electromobility. Dresden arranges complementary test drives for them.
Accompanied by a trained instructor, visitors can go on a one-hour test drive through Dresden. Well over 5,000 people have enjoyed this experience since the beginning of the year. “In fact, many travel guidebooks list us as one of Dresden’s attractions,” says a delighted Liane Scheinert, Head of Sales and Marketing. This “hands-on” experience even seems to convince the skeptics. Almost everyone who has test driven an e-Golf or a Passat GTE2 is very impressed with their first ride in an electrically-powered car: the spontaneous drivetrain, the comfortable drive performance, the silent ride.
The “Gläserne Manufaktur” will welcome around 100,000 visitors this year.
In the modern, open building they find out how an electric car is produced. The guests follow a blue line on their tour through the production halls – and often come within two meters of the Volkswagen fitters who turn the pre-fabricated car bodies from the main plant in Wolfsburg into the e-Golf.
Educational program for the automotive future
The last Phaeton, which left the assembly line here in April 2015, stands in a corner. Today Dresden builds the future of mobility. To achieve that, Volkswagen invested €20 million in refitting the plant. As Kai Siedlatzek, CFO of Volkswagen Sachsen, puts it, the goal is to make the Transparent Manufactory “the trailblazer for the electro-mobile future”.
The “e-Campus” educational program is part of this strategy. This program will soon be introducing school children to the fascination of e-mobility. Right at the heart of the factory, just a stone’s throw away from the assembly lines, they will be able to find out more about the basics of e-technology. State-of-the-art virtual reality headsets are part of the program – after all, technology should be fun!

Fuente: Volkswagen