Volkswagen to build first overseas gigafactory in Canada
The Volkswagen Group is stepping up its activities in North America to strengthen its position in this important growth market for battery electric vehicles (BEV).
The Group and its battery company PowerCo have selected St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada, to establish Volkswagen’s first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing, which will produce sustainable unified cells. Production is planned to start in 2027. The decision to expand the PowerCo cell production ramp-up from Europe to Canada is further proof of the Volkswagen Group’s ambitious growth strategy in North America.
This will be the third Volkswagen Group-owned plant worldwide and PowerCo’s first cell factory in North America. It will equip the Group brand’s BEVs in the region with cutting-edge battery cells ‒ and is part of a larger plan that Volkswagen and PowerCo agreed upon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in August last year. The Memorandum of Understanding signed back then focuses on battery value creation and raw material security in order to promote e-mobility in the country.
“Our North American strategy is a key priority in our 10- point-plan that we laid out last year. With the decisions for cell production in Canada and a Scout site in South Carolina we’re fast-forwarding the execution of our North American strategy,” said Oliver Blume, CEO of Volkswagen Group.
“With the expansion to North America, we will enter a key market for e-mobility and battery cell production, driving forward our global battery strategy at full speed. Canada and Ontario are perfect partners for scaling up our battery business and green economy jobs, as we share the same values of sustainability, responsibility and cooperation. We are committed to be a reliable partner and good neighbor for the people in St. Thomas and Ontario,“ said Thomas Schmall, board member for Technology of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo SE.
“VW’s decision to establish its first overseas gigafactory in Canada speaks to our country’s competitiveness when it comes to attracting major investments. It is also a vote of confidence in Canada as the green supplier of choice to the world. With Volkswagen and PowerCo, our government looks forward to working together towards a cleaner, more sustainable and resilient economy,“ said Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne.
Growth strategy for North America
The Volkswagen Group is driving forward the introduction of the broadest portfolio of full-electric vehicles in the United States. Group brands plan to introduce more than 25 new BEV models through 2030. In addition, the Group plans to fully leverage the region’s power by creating more synergies and making even better use of the innovative strength, technical expertise, production capacities, supply chains and market knowledge of all brands in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Volkswagen will therefore continue to bring more manufacturing capabilities and know-how to the region. In addition to its ramped-up assembly of the all-electric ID.4 compact SUV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen also has plans to upgrade the plants in Puebla and Silao, Mexico, for the assembly of BEVs and potentially for BEV components such as electric motors in the second half of the decade.