Volkswagen has suspended production at its largest plant in Zwickau, Germany for about three weeks.
The automaker blamed the shortage of electric motors on the production of e-drives at the Volkswagen Group Components site in Kassel, Germany, which is only possible to a limited extent.
The limited capacity forces Volkswagen to halt production of the Audi Q4 e-tron, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, and the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5 models. All of them are underpinned by the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) architecture.
The only models that are not affected by the issue are the Volkswagen ID.3 and Cupra Born because they still use the older electric motor. Therefore, the production of these two models is going according to plan.
The plant lacks the necessary new APP550 electric motors that power the aforementioned cars due to insufficient supply from the Kassel plant. The move affects more than 1,000 out of around 8,000 employees working at the site. Meanwhile, the supplier will get the necessary time to re-adjust the stock.
The APP550 electric motors were introduced earlier this year and were specifically designed for more power and higher torque. The previous motors could go as far as 150 kW while the new ones are able to generate 210 kW.
Volkswagen will reportedly deliver a limited number of APP550 units to the Emden plant, where the ID.4 is also manufactured. That is where the production of the newly launched Volkswagen ID.7 is underway.
Zwickau is Volkswagen’s largest EV production site in Europe. The auto group announced a nearly $1.3 billion investment in 2018 to convert the factory into an all-EV production centre. The conversion was carried out in only 26 months.
Starting in 2026, number seven will see the light of day in Zwickau. It will be a business sedan, which is currently codenamed Project Trinity. The model will be based on the upcoming SSP architecture.