If you were to ask European drivers what their first choice of car brand would be, you would probably get an answer “one of the big five German car manufacturers”. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and volkswagen are synonymous with reliability and impeccable quality. Undoubtedly, they are the top choices of many drivers around the world, not just in Europe.
Still, there are significant differences between the Big Five, and Volkswagen presents itself as the most reliable option for economy cars, perfectly combining quality and price. Since 1937, this German brand has built its name and reputation on its “people’s cars” produced at affordable costs for the masses.
As a result, Volkswagen has expanded its business scope so much that it now boasts of having the largest manufacturing plant in the world. If you’ve never heard of Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant, know that you’re missing a lot.
The Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg is unlike any other ordinary factory you have had the chance to see. With incredibly large premises, a huge workforce, huge supplies and top-of-the-line technology solutions, this factory is state-of-the-art. But just how big is it and what secrets do its walls hide?
Stay with us to learn more about the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg. We’ll reveal the most interesting facts behind the world’s largest car manufacturing plant and some news that Volkswagen fans might be interested in.
The birthplace of the beetle and the golf: a brief history of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg
Before we dive into the current details surrounding Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant, let’s first talk about the history. Wolfsburg is a city in Lower Saxony, located 230 kilometers west of Berlin. It was founded in 1938 and immediately became the headquarters of Volkswagen automobile manufacturing.
Unfortunately, the factory only saw military equipment during World War II, becoming a terrible place of residence for forced laborers and prisoners of war. The VW plant in Wolfsburg only flourished after the war, when sales increased and the famous Volkswagen Beetle hit the market. The factory has actually produced around 12 million units of this amazing car.
Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant has continued to develop and produce the brand’s iconic models over the years, including the Golf and more recently the Tiguan. It is therefore difficult to put the whole history of Wolfsburg in this brief overview. Luckily, VW has chronicled it all in miles of searchable-on-demand files (good luck with the 70,000 posts!).
Interesting facts and figures behind the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg
Occupying 6,500,000 m² of space and employing around 60,000 people, the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg can be considered a city. In fact, with the beautiful premises and the regular visits (yes, you can be a tourist in Wolfsburg), the factory has a life of its own.
Additionally, Volkswagen built the Autostadt or City of Cars right next to Wolfsburg. The City of Cars is meant to celebrate the brand’s history with a collection of cars as well as lakes, parks, markets and even its own train station. So you can embark on a whole trip to Wolfsburg, although we doubt that one day will cut it.
Did we mention that the factory can produce around 3,500 cars per day? With the help of advanced technology and hardworking employees, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant has produced more than 45 million vehicles (although the number is growing right now).
To be completely honest, we admire the work of Volkswagen employees, because we can’t imagine the time it takes to travel the network of roads connecting production facilities, warehouses and other buildings. But then again, Volkswagen probably has it all figured out with its locomotives and robots.
Contemporary Struggles and Projects at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg Plant
Now, we can talk more about the factory details, but there are some pressing news that might interest you more at the moment. You’re probably familiar with the global chip shortage that followed the pandemic and caused disruption across the automotive industry. Well, that also affected Volkswagen.
The year before, the world’s largest car factory produced cars well below average. It was, in fact, the worst year for Wolfsburg since 1958! The plant was even closed for the longest time in 82 years due to health issues. The entire workforce (which is by no means modest) has had to change its mode of operation because of the pandemic. Naturally, all of this weighed on production.
So, we’ve seen Volkswagen struggle to get its most efficient factory back on track. Fortunately, the last few months have shown more stability for the automaker. According to the latest data available to us, Volkswagen will even invest around 2 billion euros in the construction of a new plant near Wolfsburg. The goal will be to develop the new Trinity electric model, in which Volkswagen places great hopes.
All this leads us to wonder: will the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg turn into an electric vehicle factory? Is the big German automaker about to compete with Tesla? We will have to wait and see.
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