The Volkswagen ID.3 had a rough start last year as the all-electric hatchback’s launch was plagued by software issues that forced VW to delay customer deliveries. Despite the hiccups and a 2020 greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the German automaker still managed to sell 56,500 units. In fact, it was the VW Group’s best-selling EV, beating the Audi E-Tron (47,300) and the e-Golf (41,300).
Speaking of which, the e-Golf was assembled until December 2020 at the Dresden plant in Germany where VW is now making its natural successor – the ID.3. Series production of the compact electric hatchback started today at the so-called “Transparent Factory” where several other VW Group products have been put together in the past. The list includes the Phaeton flagship luxury sedan, but also a non-VW model like the Bentley Continental GT.
The factory in Dresden is actually the fourth VW facility converted to produce EVs that ride on the MEB platform dedicated to zero-emissions vehicles. The first one was Zwickau where the ID.3 has been in production since November 2019. MEB-based electric cars are also produced in China, specifically at the plants in Anting and Foshan. Combined, these four factories have a production output of more than 900,000 vehicles annually.
VW will be able to assemble even more EVs in the years to come as the Emden and Hanover factories in Germany as well as the one in Chattanooga (United States) are all getting ready to produce electric vehicles. With the ID.4 being rolled out and the promise of an ID.5, Microbus, a 30,000-euro sedan, and a new entry-level electric car, the company’s EV agenda looks extremely busy for the years ahead.
The Transparent Factory pictured here is quite special in the sense VW organizes events in which owners can directly pick up their cars. The company now has two delivery points within the same factory – a first for an automaker. VW expects the number of customer deliveries to increase to nearly 10,000 cars by 2022, up from 2019 when 1,301 owners took delivery of their cars while in 2020 the number jumped to 3,296 people. For 2021, VW estimates more than 5,000 owners will decide to get their cars directly from their place of birth.