BERLIN — Volkswagen could decide where it will build a new electric vehicle factory by the end of March and plans to ramp up overall production in the second half of 2022, though a chip shortage is expected to persist this year.
The company announced last year that it would build a new, state-of-the-art auto plant near its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, to up its game as rival Tesla builds a factory near Berlin.
The plant is part of the VW Group’s Trinity project, under which the automaker wants to build a flagship electric sedan in Wolfsburg from 2026, a decision that VW’s works council – the company’s union – hopes to secure the site’s future as Volkswagen prepares to stop selling internally. combustion engine cars in Europe from 2035.
“We are fighting for the production of Trinity right here in Wolfsburg, that is to say either on the factory site or in the direct vicinity of the main factory,” said the works council chairwoman. , Daniela Cavallo, in a press release.
Volkswagen’s share price fell in the last quarter of 2021 but has partially recovered in recent months, rising slightly on Wednesday’s news from 187.8 euros ($213.81) to open at 188.14 euros.
The works council said Volkswagen produced 330,000 fewer vehicles than expected at the Wolfsburg plant last year due to a lack of semiconductors, with just under 400,000 vehicles rolling off the production line. production line.
The automaker said in early February that night shifts in Wolfsburg would be cut on some production lines due to lack of chips.
Despite chip supply issues, chief executive Herbert Diess said in a separate statement on Wednesday that he hoped to ramp up production in the second half of the year, with top models from Volkswagen’s premium brands already sold out for the whole of 2022, and its truck activities also being well filled. order books.
“The coming months will be difficult, but we will continue to be the lead plant for the entire Volkswagen Group here in Wolfsburg. This is where we set the direction of the business,” Cavallo said.
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(Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Victoria Waldersee, writing by Emma ThomassonEditing by Madeline Chambers and Bernadette Baum)
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