BERLIN -- As Tesla begins production at its German plant this month, rival Volkswagen is weeks away from finalizing plans for a 2-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) electric-vehicle factory that it hopes will bring it up to speed with its U.S. rival.
Tesla says it can already produce a Model Y SUV in 10 hours at its new factory in Gruenheide near Berlin, whereas it can take VW three times as long to make its ID3 full-electric hatchback.
VW now aims to slash production times at its new Trinity plant by using techniques such as large die casting and cutting the number of components in its cars by several hundred.
The factory should be up and running in VW's home city of Wolfsburg in 2026. It will build a full-electric sedan for the VW brand with advanced self-driving capabilties.
"Our goal is clear: we want to set the standard with our production," VW brand production chief Christian Vollmer told Reuters in an interview. "If we can get to 10 hours, we have achieved something big."