VW’s Phaeton transparent factory to be realigned image

Following the production cease of the unsuccessful Phaeton, Volkswagen said it would transform the Dresden plant into an electromobility and digitalization showroom.

On March 18, the last Phaeton rolled out from the production line of the transparent factory in Dresden, after 14 years of unsuccessful story. Volkswagen announced that the “Gläserne Manufaktur” plant would be realigned to house a new Volkswagen brand showcase for electromobility and digitalization on April 8. The site, which was opened in 2002 and it was at that time an architectural statement, and still is, with glass walls so customers can admire how their cars are being put together, will remain open for events, as well as for vehicle delivery and preparation following the modifications. “The production of the highest-quality vehicles should be resumed here under the eyes of customers and visitors in the near future. This is what the workforce and this unique facility deserve. Until then, the deployment of our colleagues to other locations will call for considerable flexibility,” the Dresden location’s Works Council Chairman Thomas Aehlig said.

Some of the production staff affected by the shutdown would need to commute to Zwickau, about 120 km (75 miles) west of Dresden, where VW builds the Golf hatchback and the Passat saloon, while the rest of the employees would go to other locations. The Phaeton, which was assembled by 300 of the transparent plant’s 500 workers, had the smallest-volume sales in the company’s global line-up and never met sales targets since coming to market in 2002, after VW invested more than 1 billion euros for developing the upscale sedan. The initial plan for the site, the smallest of VW’s ten German factories, was to be reconfigured to prepare for producing an all-electric Phaeton by about 2019, but its future is now uncertain considering the costs implications of the diesel scandal.