Volkswagen Dresden: Ten Years On

The Volkswagen Transparent Factory in Dresden opened 10 years ago yesterday.

The Volkswagen Transparent Factory in Dresden opened 10 years ago yesterday. The 83,000-sq. meter manufacturing operation on the Elbe River, was originally developed to manufacture the Volkswagen Phaeton, the brand’s premium model. It continues to do so. (There was a period from mid-2005 until the end of 2006 when it did some assembly work for the Bentley Continental Flying Spur when it was in its ramp-up phase.)

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The plant, which employs approximately 500 people, is has an unconventional assembly setup—perhaps more unconventional than the amount of glass on the exterior of the facility. That is, while the vehicle build is separated into stages as is the case in any vehicle assembly operation (first this, then this. . . .), each of the 29 stages that the Phaeton goes through in assembly is performed on an area that is covered with parquet flooring material. There are material handling devices at the stations that allow precision location of the components to assure the quality of build. It is more like a series of individual upscale kitchens than a factory.

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What’s more, assembly is performed on two levels of the building. There is an electric suspended railway system brining vehicle from floor to floor.

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In 2010, they produced 7,500 vehicles.

Who says making cars can’t be beautiful?

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