VW will build small EV family in Slovakia

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen Group will build its new small electric-car family in Slovakia, German business paper Handelsblatt reported.

VW has picked its factory in Bratislava, where the automaker currently builds the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, as the production site for the EVs, which the automaker aims to sell for less than 20,000 euros.

VW said in March that its Seat brand will lead development of the cars. The small EVs will use a shortened version of VW Group’s Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) architecture. They will be subcompact-sized at about 4000mm (1575 inches) long.

The cars will be sold by the VW, Seat and Skoda brands and are expected to launch in 2022. VW is said to plan annual production of 200,000 units for the cars, which will replace the battery-powered variants of the VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii.

VW had initially intended to build the EVs at its factory in Emden, Germany, but chose Bratislava instead because wage costs are lower in Slovakia than in Germany, Handelsblatt said.

VW will compensate for the lost production in Emden by moving output of a compact electric SUV to the plant from Zwickau, Germany, the paper said.

The first model from VW’s new family of full-electric cars, the ID3 compact hatchback, will arrive in dealerships next year.

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