Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden started series production of the ID.3 electric car late last month. This makes it the second production site for the ID.3 after Zwickau, and the fourth site worldwide producing Volkswagen models based on the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB). The other two factories are in Anting and Foshan in China.

But the Transparent Factory is more than just a regular car factory, as hinted by its unusual name. Over the coming years, the former “Center of Future Mobility” in the Saxon capital will steadily transform into the “Home of the ID”.

VW’s plan is for the site to “act as a beacon for Volkswagen in Germany”, offering customers, visitors and guests a holistic experience of the ID family – from initial advice and test drives, to production visits, co-constructing the ID.3 and modern event formats, up to the handover of the EVs. There will also be a research and innovation site that drives innovative projects on a pilot scale for later use in the group’s large capacity sites.

“The Transparent Factory plays an important role within the Volkswagen brand. Here, visitors, customers and guests come into direct contact with the mobility of tomorrow. We are a production plant, tourist attraction, event location, test lab and delivery center – all in one. With the start of the production of the ID.3, we are giving the green light for our strategic realignment,” said Danny Auerswald, site manager of the Transparent Factory.

As with the start-up of the e-Golf in 2017, the production of the ID.3 will also start with one shift and 35 vehicles from Monday to Friday. The regular visiting times for tours are Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, and Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

More vehicle handovers will happen at the Home of the ID, and to that end, a second delivery point was recently set up in the factory, which is unique in the automobile industry. The number of vehicle handovers to customers is expected to increase from 1,301 in 2019 and 3,296 in 2020 to more than 5,000 vehicles in 2021. The goal is around 9,700 deliveries a year by 2022, and to deliver vehicles produced in Dresden primarily in Dresden.

The Functional Testing station in Dresden is being further expanded, with a focus on assistance systems, mobile online services, engines and chassis. In the Technical Vehicle Service, used vehicles will be inspected and repaired. Production 4.0 and the automation and digitalisation of complex operations within assembly and logistics will be practiced here, and the Transparent Factory will act as a pilot plant for the development and application of new tech in series processes.

Since its opening in 2001, the VW Phaeton luxury sedan (84,235 units, 2001-2016), the Bentley Flying Spur (2,186 units, 2005/2006 and 2013/2014) and since 2017, the e-Golf (50,401 units) have rolled off the production line at the Transparent Factory.

As for VW’s MEB goals, the current maximum production capacity at the four plants is more than 900,000 units a year. The next sites to be MEBed will be Emden and Hanover in Germany, and Chattanooga in the US. The ID.3 is available in three battery sizes (45/58/77 kWh), with a range of 330 to 550 km. A rear-mounted motor makes 204 PS/310 Nm, and the 0-60 km/h sprint is done in 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 160 km/h. More here.

GALLERY: Volkswagen ID.3