Status: 21/09/2023, 17:26 p.m.
Christian Sommer (l) stands in front of the entrance to the Transparent VW Factory together with Thomas Aehlig (r) after a works meeting. © Sebastian Kahnert/dpa
The Transparent Factory in Dresden is a prestige object of VW. But recently, a report alarmed that the production of the ID.3 electric car is to be discontinued there. The situation of the Saxon car industry is also a concern for the members of the state parliament.
Dresden - For the time being, Volkswagen is sticking to the assembly of cars in its Transparent Factory. "There are no plans to stop production at the site in the short term," a spokesman said after a works meeting on Thursday. "Production of the ID.3 will continue." The company is examining how the site can be future-proofed. To this end, there are discussions with the employee representatives. "Regardless of these discussions, job security until 2029 remains unchanged for all of the approximately 300 employees," it said. In Dresden, only a few dozen cars are built every day.
The "Automobilwoche" had reported a few days ago, citing company sources, that VW was planning to discontinue vehicle production in Dresden. The location is to be retained, and the approximately 300 employees will be given other tasks. The important message of the works meeting is that this report has no substance, emphasized the First Representative of IG Metall Dresden, Stefan Ehly. This has been made clear to the workforce and creates trust and security.
However, due to weakening demand for its electric cars, Volkswagen plans to cut jobs at the Zwickau site. First of all, there is talk of almost 270 employees whose fixed-term contracts are about to expire and who will not be renewed.
The situation of the local car industry was also a topic in the state parliament on Thursday. However, the AfD's criticism of the switch to electric cars at VW in Zwickau almost three years ago was met with incomprehension by other parliamentary groups. "We can't continue as we have done so far and then find out in five years that other manufacturers from the USA or China offer products, and our products are no longer in demand," said CDU MP Jan Hippold. The transformation of the automotive industry is not always linear and painless. It is a challenge, but also offers opportunities for new jobs.
In his speech, AfD parliamentary group leader Jörg Urban had previously blamed a "political hype about e-mobility" for the weakening demand at VW. "The policy from black to red to yellow and green has always created new obstacles for the hitherto successful German internal combustion engine," said Urban.
"The biggest mistake that politicians could make now would be not to continue to promote the innovation process or even to talk badly," countered SPD state chairman Henning Homann. Saxony is a car state and wants to stay that way. Singing the swan song for the e-car now is insubstantial and irresponsible. "Anyone who does this is doing a disservice to the employees and Saxony's industry," Homann criticized.
According to Left Party MP Nico Brünler, the causes of the slump in sales at the Zwickau plant lie rather "in general inflation and negative expectations for the future". Other causes are the gaps in the charging infrastructure and the reduction of subsidies. Green Party MP Gerhard Liebscher expressed a similar view. "I ask you to understand what the industry has long understood: We will have to operate in a climate-neutral manner."
At the end, SPD Minister of Social Affairs Petra Köpping promised support to the workers in Zwickau. They need "security for their prospects". Dpa