FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group has given new life to its dormant factory in Dresden, Germany, by adding production of the new electric Golf at the plant.
Output of a refreshed, more powerful version of the battery-powered e-Golf will begin at the glass-walled plant in April 2017. VW will also build the model at its main Wolfsburg plant.
The Dresden factory, which most recently housed a museum, produced the VW brand's Phaeton flagship sedan for 14 years, ending production in March of this year.
The Phaeton, which cost more than 1 billion euros to develop and came out in 2002, was a pet project of then Chairman Ferdinand Piech. The BMW 7 series competitor never achieved VW's original annual sales target of 20,000 cars. VW actually lost 28,000 euros on each Phaeton sold between 2002 and 2012, Bernstein analyst Max Warburton wrote in a September 2013 note.
In the same year, the model reached No. 3 in a top 10 list of the European auto industry's most "catastrophic" failures of the past 15 years, compiled by Warburton.
Volkswagen unveiled its freshened e-Golf at the Los Angeles auto show last week. The car has a bigger battery, which gives it 50 percent more driving range, VW said in a statement.
The updated e-Golf receives a new 36 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, compared with 24 kWh in the outgoing model. The bigger battery boosts driving range to up to about 200 km (124 miles) in everyday driving on a single charge, compared with 133 km (83 miles) for the previous model.