Volkswagen applies the same strategy as always in Sagunto

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The construction of the battery factory of the Volkswagen Group in Sagunto is in the air. One of the star projects for the automobile group and the Government related to the Next Generation funds has an uncertain future. It is not the first time it happens.

The Sagunto factory. February 2022, Volkswagen confirms that it will build a battery factory in our country. A space that, at full capacity, should have a maximum capacity of 40 GWh and employ 3,000 people, according to the company’s own data. The total investment of the automobile group should reach 7,000 million euros.

The news was not only good news for the Seat employees in Martorell, releasing the German consortium’s small electric cars, but it was also good news for the Volkswagen plant in Landaben (Navarra) or for the Ford workers in Almussafes, whose brand doubted where to assemble its future electric vehicles. The alliance with Volkswagen to share platform and batteries was one of the main reasons for deciding on this last location.

In the air. However, all the tranquility of those first days has been turning into concern, as the months have passed. And, yesterday, finally, from The Automotive Tribune assured that Volkswagen considers giving up the construction of the factory. The reason: the low allocation in the PERTE VEC for the development of the electric and connected vehicle.

THE PERTE VEC. They are being the cornerstone on which all Volkswagen’s discontent revolves. In April 2021, the Government announced that of the 70,000 million euros that Europe would contribute through the Next Generation funds, more than 13,000 million would be dedicated exclusively to mobility.

Since then, the figures have danced. Of those more than 13,000 million, a total of 6,536 million They would be dedicated to a “shock plan for safe and connected mobility in urban environments”, which also contemplates the improvement of the recharging network or investments to carry out low-emission zones in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

And all those billions, 2,975 million euros they would be provided by the Government for the “Comprehensive line of action for the development and manufacture of the VEC”. That is, the item that would correspond to the manufacture of electric cars and components, including the famous German batteries.

I want more. Much more, in fact. The reason for Volkswagen’s discontent and that has questioned the construction of the battery factory in Sagunto is the insufficient, in his opinion, aid item that the Government will provide. In a provisional approval, Volkswagen has received 167 million aid to start up the factory.

However, the Germans have been very dissatisfied with this figure. According to sources consulted by media such as The world, in the negotiations between the Government and the Volkswagen Group, the state contribution could be increased to 362 million euros. Volkswagen assures that without 800 million from the State, there will be no factory.

an unexpected situation. If delivered, 800 million euros to Volkswagen, the manufacturer would be covering 26.87% of the maximum funds allocated to this item. And we say of the maximum possible funds, since the first provisional approvals barely count on using 700 million of the almost 3,000 million euros announced, divided into ten different projects.

In other words, Volkswagen is pressing to receive 100 million more aid than the Government has been willing to use at first for a total of ten projects. It is also not the first brand to announce a possible drop in the Perte VEC, Ford confirmed that it ceased its intention to receive the aid, since could not meet deadlines marked by the government.

a key moment. The automotive sector is, at the moment, a pressure cooker. On the one hand, European politicians are pressing for manufacturers to switch to electric cars, with a ban on selling combustion cars beyond 2035 or with the drafting of a Euro 7 standard that is expected to be very restrictive.

At the same time, manufacturers know their power. From Stellantis they are already warning of possible plant closures and request that tariffs be lifted against Chinese firms that are operating in Europe and that can be a great rival for European manufacturers. Volkswagen assures that thousands of jobs and a total investment of €10 billion In our country.

In the background, Spanish and European employees continue to suffer with the arrival of the electric car. The first half of the year has been marked by tough negotiations in a large part of the Spanish plants. About Ford workers already flies over an ERE to guarantee to continue manufacturing future electric models of the brand.

Volkswagen intended to dominate the market with an electric car at 20,000 euros.  You already admit that it is impossible

With power. The pressures of the Volkswagen Group are not new in the automotive sector. Manufacturers are aware of the great power they have in their hands when it comes to pressing. In fact, only in Spain, the sector represents 10.95% of the total turnover of the country, being the second most important after food.

It is not surprising that for years this group has pressured the different institutions. In 2020 they already warned that their business employed 14 million people throughout Europe, for which they demanded urgent aid to face the crisis. In Germany and Italy they have managed to get their politicians to include the exception for manufacturing combustion vehicles if the brand’s production is less than 1,000 units. And France, whose State is a shareholder of the Renault Group or Stellantis, are also requesting protectionist measures compared to Asian brands.

The construction of the battery factory of the Volkswagen Group in Sagunto is in the air. One of the star…

The construction of the battery factory of the Volkswagen Group in Sagunto is in the air. One of the star…

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