VW Scales Back EV Production

Works council head cites “strong customer reluctance in the electric-vehicle sector” for the shortening of shifts and extended holiday period.

Greg Kable

June 27, 2023

2 Min Read
VW Emden screenshot
ID.4 production launched at Volkswagen’s Emden, Germany, plant in May 2022.Volkswagen

Volkswagen is scaling back production of electric models at one of its German plants, with a labor leader citing “strong customer reluctance in the electric-vehicle sector.”

According to the German automaker’s works council, a shift at VW’s Emden plant in Lower Saxony has been canceled for the next two weeks in the lead-up to an extended four-week summer holiday period for workers on EV lines in July and August.

Among the models affected are the ID.4 CUV and early production of the ID.7 sedan.

Details of the shortening of shifts were provided by Manfred Wulff, the head of the works council for the Emden plant, in response to an inquiry from the German Press Agency and an earlier article published by the North-West newspaper.

While the production of combustion-engine models, including the Passat, continues unchanged, the factory holidays for EV line workers have been extended by one week.

Additionally, Wulff says 300 of the current 1,500 temporary workers employed at VW’s Emden plant will not have their contracts renewed in August.

Employees were informed about the reduction in EV production on Monday.

Wulff indicates demand for EVs is up to 30% below originally planned production figures. “We are experiencing strong customer reluctance in the electric-vehicle sector,” he tells the North-West newspaper.

Wulff says production of ID.7 sedan originally had been planned to start in July but now has been delayed to “later this year.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for VW’s Emden plant tells the German Press Agency: “We are confident that the plant’s utilization will increase again with the launch of the ID.7 at the end of the year.”

Production of the internal-combustion-engine Passat is set to cease at Emden after 46 years when the ninth-generation model arrives later this year. VW has invested about €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in the site for EV production.  

In an interview with the North-West newspaper, the minister of economic affairs for the state of Lower Saxony, Olaf Lies, describes the measures introduced by VW at Emden as “understandable.”

“The registration numbers of electric vehicles continue to be high, but what concerns us is the current dip in demand – not only at Volkswagen but across all manufacturers,” he says.

Lies has called for discussions on the implementation of new incentives for EV purchases, including a reduction in value-added tax.

VW currently produces EVs at four plants in Germany, including Emden, Zwickau, Hanover and Dresden.


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