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VW orders more than 2,200 robots in bid to become EV leader

27 October, 2020

Volkswagen has ordered more than 2,200 industrial robots from two different suppliers, to be installed at plants in Germany and the US. The Japanese robot manufacturer Fanuc will supply more than 1,400 machines for VW production facilities at Chattanooga in the US and Emden in Germany, while ABB will provide a further 800 for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ factory in Hanover, which is being modernised to manufacture the new ID. Buzz electric van due to enter production in 2022.

The new robots are to be mainly used for body production and battery assembly at the three plants, which will produce electric vehicles. VW plans to start building its ID.4 electric SUV at Chattanooga and Emden, also in 2022.

In total, VW is planning to invest €33bn by 2024 with the aim of becoming the global market leader in electric vehicles. Several billion euros will be invested in the three plants.

“At Emden and Chattanooga, we are developing two of the most advanced production facilities in the automotive industry for the transformation to e-mobility,” says Christian Vollmer, VW’s board member responsible for production and logistics. “We are investing in the latest technologies such as digitalisation and automation for this purpose, even in the present situation.”

Volkswagen is upgrading its Hanover plant to start producing its new ID. Buzz electric van from 2022
Photo: Volkswagen AG

The conversion of the Hanover plant is on track to start producing the electric van in 2022 and the 800 ABB robots will be installed in the body shop to perform a range of body construction tasks. “With the launch of the ID. Buzz, we will complete the modernisation of our Hanover plant currently in progress, which will also benefit all the other models produced at this location,” says Josef Baumert, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles board member responsible for production and logistics.

“ABB’s robotic solutions will provide Volkswagen’s production processes with unprecedented levels of flexibility, to help them adjust to trends and changing customer requirements,” says Sami Atiya, president of ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation.

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