Flagship VW electric sedan has been delayed by two years, potentially making a new plant redundant.
The Volkswagen Group board met today to decide if it will build a new factory for its Trinity flagship, German trade newspaper Handelsblatt has reported.
The Trinity has been delayed by two years, following a wide-reaching review of the VW Group’s product roadmap.
Speaking to Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar at the Los Angeles motor show in December 2022, VW brand boss Thomas Schäfer explained: “By the time we were planning to bring the car in the middle of 2026, the factory at Wolfsburg – actually four factories – was chock-a-block. To integrate another car almost diagonally into the factory would have been a total disaster. Not possible.
“So we had to make a plan for another factory close by, run it up, clean up the rest and then reintegrate as much as we can into the old factory.”
However, by 2028 or 2029, demand for the brand’s combustion models would have reduced to the point that the Trinity could be built on an existing factory line, said Schäfer.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure what comes when,” he said. “But what we know is that everything slides a bit back by, say, two years – on the Trinity side, specifically. That allows us, potentially, to integrate the vehicle into the factory, because by then the ICE volume in the factory will reduce and we won’t have the problem that it’s too full to integrate another car.”
Schäfer stopped short of naming an existing factory that could be repurposed for Trinity production, adding that his team does not know “100 per cent” whether this will be the case, and that considerations must be made for the timelines of sibling brands Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda. But he did emphasise that, ultimately, “Trinity will come as a car”.
Schäfer was speaking to Autocar after an official statement, quoting him and recently-appointed VW Group CEO Oliver Blume, was released in response to a report from German trade publication Manager Magazin, which claimed the new Wolfsburg plant’s activation was being delayed from 2026 to 2030, amid wider plans to restructure the Group.
“We’re currently taking the opportunity to look at all projects and investments and their viability,” said Blume and Schäfer.
The company will clarify its development plan in the coming weeks as incumbent Blume adjusts the Group’s roadmap in his first months as CEO. Any changes are expected to be announced at the Volkswagen Group’s annual results presentation on 14 March.
Handelsblatt also reported that the board was today discussing the future of Volkswagen’s Hanover plant, after the Transporter 6.1 ends production. Its direct replacement – a sibling to the Ford E-Transit Custom, developed as part of a commercial vehicle tie-up between the two firms – will be built in Otosan, Turkey.
Hanover recently added the Volkswagen Multivan and Volkswagen ID Buzz to its portfolio. The latter is slated to spawn several new variants over the next few years, including a seven-seater, camper and a sporty GTX model.
The Osnabrück factory which builds limited-volume cars such as the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet is also being considered for a new Porsche model, said Handelsblatt. Osnabrück currently serves as overflow production for the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman.
Reporting by Mark Tisshaw and Charlie Martin