volkswagen's us$2bil trinity electric vehicle plant in doubt

HAMBURG: Volkswagen chief executive Oliver Blume is reviewing whether to stick to a plan to build a new plant to assemble its Trinity electric vehicles (EV) or to use its existing Wolfsburg factory, a source said today.

Volkswagen, the world’s second-biggest carmaker, had planned to start building the €2 billion (RM9.4bil) factory in 2023 and produce its flagship electric sedan there from 2026, with a view to accelerating the manufacturing process.

Manager Magazine reported on Wednesday that Blume was considering delaying production of the new model until 2030 and abandoning plans to launch it on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP), which is intended eventually to replace all other platforms.

Two sources close to negotiations refuted this to Reuters, saying the carmaker would assemble Trinity on the SSP, but they questioned whether a new factory was necessary.

A separate software platform, the E3 2.0, which was supposed to be incorporated into Trinity, has been delayed from 2026 to 2029, Manager Magazin reported.

In a letter published on an employee portal, software unit Cariad’s chief executive Dirk Hilgenberg said the company was giving itself more time on the 2.0 platform but did not provide a new timeframe.

Cariad declined to provide further details.

“We are taking the opportunity to look at all projects and investments and check their viability,” Blume said in a separate letter to staff.

The company, which earlier this month delayed its planning round scheduled for November citing “changing economic realities”, was evaluating its plans for software and platforms and would then determine projects for each brand, he said, adding it was too early for concrete statements.

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