A few weeks before the new decisions on investments in the coming years at Volkswagen, the debate about future capacity utilization at the main plant in Wolfsburg is gaining in intensity. Group boss Herbert Diess had aggressively addressed the issue in the September meeting of the supervisory board to the surprise of several inspectors, it was said on Wednesday from company circles. He is said to have presented a scenario of what could happen if, for example, the supply crisis for electronic chips should persist or VW had to rethink the scheduling of important future projects. The “Handelsblatt” had previously reported on it.
Europe’s largest automaker is currently idling significantly at its headquarters. Short-time work had to be extended several times for tens of thousands of employees because – as with other providers – there is a lack of semiconductors. Regardless of the acute bottlenecks, parts of the workforce are concerned about sufficient plant occupancy in the coming years. Among other things, the works council has already called for at least one further electric model to be installed in the corporate headquarters in addition to the “Trinity” project planned for 2025/2026.
No open conflict
“The difficult situation at the Wolfsburg plant is a clear focus of ongoing discussions for this year’s planning round,” said works council chief Daniela Cavallo recently. Specific decisions on models and locations in the global VW production network should be made by mid-November. According to the report, at the most recent meeting of the supervisors, there was again irritation between Diess and members of the committee.
In principle, workforce representatives and company management have the same goal in this regard: more e-models are to follow as soon as possible, also in view of the increasing competition from US rival Tesla with its new plant in Grnheide near Berlin. An open conflict like the one in mid-2020, when Diess had a violent clash with the then works council boss Bernd Osterloh, has not recently occurred, according to several people involved. (dpa / swi)
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