AutosVolkswagen's Emden plant stalls again amid sluggish demand for Passat

Volkswagen's Emden plant stalls again amid sluggish demand for Passat

Volkswagen factories in Emden, Passat production
Volkswagen factories in Emden, Passat production
Images source: © Press materials | Volkswagen AG

6:13 AM EST, February 2, 2024, updated: 4:29 AM EST, March 7, 2024

In the initial two days of February, Volkswagen was again obliged to declare compulsory leave for the plant workforce in Emden, located in northern Germany. The company plans to compensate for these shifts in the latter half of this year. This decision was a mutual agreement between the management and the works council.

The prime cause appears to be the current underwhelming demand for the Passat. Until the end of March, the production of the outgoing B8 generation is on the schedule in Emden. The upcoming Passat, designated B9, was developed under the aegis of Skoda and should begin its production run in Bratislava within the next few weeks. The production of the new Superb started at the same location in early December.

The Emden plant, alternatively, was anticipated to prioritize electric models. Last year in August, the production of the ID.7 began, but the tepid interest in this new mid-size electric car has left the factory underutilized - both the regular and the ID.7 manufacturing lines are currently inactive. The Emden factory is also where Volkswagen produces the ID.4 and Arteon models, with expectations of Arteon's production ceasing this year.

In November 2023, Volkswagen had to restrict the production of its electric models in Zwickau and Emden, officially owing to the shortage of electric cars. However, the company disclosed in December, due in part to retracting demand for electric models, that it would not extend contracts for over 700 temporary workers. Roughly 8,000 people are presently employed in Emden. In 2022, 146,000 cars rolled off the assembly line, while data for 2023 is yet to be announced.

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