VW will build a Passat-sized autonomous long-range electric sedan for the mass market.
The Volkswagen Group has chosen its headquarters, the German city of Wolfsburg, as the location for its new factory, to build the Trinity autonomous sedan for the VW brand.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023, VW said on Friday.
VW said it is investing about 2 billion euros ($ 2.18 billion) in the production of the vehicle.
The plant will use the latest production techniques and is designed to reduce the technological gap with Tesla, which has received approval to start production at its new European plant near Berlin.
Construction will begin in 2023, and cars will be off the 2026 production line, VW said.
The Trinity sedan will be about the size of a mid-size Passat. The car will be intended for the mass market and aims at a range of over 700 km.
Volkswagen wants to overtake Tesla
It will be technically prepared for Level 4 autonomous driving and will launch the VW Group’s SSP electric “super platform”, which will replace combustion engine platforms and all-electric platforms used by brands such as VW, Skoda, Seat, Audi and Porsche.
VW is looking at a production time of 10 hours per vehicle for the Trinity model, similar to how long it will take Tesla to build cars at its new factory in Gruenheide, near Berlin.
The key is “fewer options, fewer components, more automation, weaker production lines and new logistics concepts,” VW said.
The plant will produce about 250,000 cars a year, and building it from scratch is less complex than re-equipping existing operations, VW brand chief Ralf Brandstaetter told reporters in November.
The decision to add a new facility is part of VW Group CEO Herbert Diess’s efforts to accelerate the pace of EV change and become more efficient.
Building the factory near Wolfsburg is a nod to VW’s strong unions, which have clashed frequently with Diess.