This week begins with more worrying news from the Volkswagen Group's Zwickau factory, which is the group's largest EV plant in Europe.
According to Automobilwoche and MDR (via Electrive), Volkswagen is shutting down production of the Volkswagen ID.3 and Cupra Born hatchback entirely this week and this pause is expected to continue through the end of this year.
Let's recall that the MEB-based duo of compact hatchbacks, produced on the same production line in Zwicaku, already noted a two-week pause in October, while in November (after resuming production) the company canceled the third shift.
It seems that the demand issues are so big and challenging that the previous measures have not solved the disproportion between supply and demand. Now, we are talking about a full stoppage of production of both models for an entire month.
To make things worse, the production line responsible for the crossover/SUVs (Volkswagen ID.4, Volkswagen ID.5, Audi Q4 e-tron, and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron) in Zwickau has been stopped for about three weeks now (most of November) because an insufficient supply of new rear drive units. The issue with the Volkswagen Group's all-new APP550 drive units also concerns other plants in Europe.
The good news, according to the article, is that production is expected to finally start up again this week. However, it's not clear whether it will go full-scale or on a limited basis.
Audi Q4 e-tron
German media reports that the Volkswagen Group's situation is "critical" after the Volkswagen Brand CEO Thomas Schaefer warned the staff about the brand's lack of competitiveness.
The Zwickau plant did not extend contracts with 269 employees this year, and the company's spokesperson said that almost 500 temporary employees will not be extended in the coming year. Job cuts associated with reduced production might continue into 2024, the article explains.