Volkswagen Group veteran Christian Vollmer, who became VW brand's production chief in August 2020, is working on the biggest reorganization in decades at the company's home plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Project Trinity, which is developing a full-electric, self-driving flagship car, will transform the plant into a technology hub for next-generation technologies, Vollmer told Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.
You were in Wolfsburg until 2005, then spent a long time at VW's operations in China. What has changed in Wolfsburg in the last 15 years?
My first surprise was that because of the coronavirus pandemic there is no longer the famous traffic jam on the A39. You no longer have to leave Braunschweig [Brunswick] an hour early to arrive at the plant on time. So, I was in Wolfsburg far too early for my first appointment. A lot has certainly changed at the plant over the years, but a lot is still familiar to me. The Golf is still there, for example, and the Tiguan is a new addition. And with everything we are planning now, I assume that we will have greater changes here in the next five years than in the entire last 15 years.
Your most important project is the Trinity flagship electric car, which is scheduled to start production in Wolfsburg in 2026. What does that mean for the location?
The Trinity project will make Volkswagen's main plant the flagship for state-of-the-art and fully networked car production. I sense an enthusiasm for the project here that I have never experienced before in Wolfsburg. We already have unsolicited applications from people who say: 'I want to be part of this, be there from the beginning. Trinity will be cool, let me be part of the team.' Something really new is being created here.