The Volkswagen Group has announced a new series of activities in the North America region that will together work to expand its BEV business in the region. A major step in these plans is the establishment of the OEM’s first overseas gigafactory – through its PowerCo subsidiary – in St. Thomas, a city in Ontario, Canada. The new plant will produce sustainable unified cells and is expected to commence operations in 2027.
PowerCo’s decision to locate its next plant in St. Thomas represents a key step towards achieving its battery strategy. The plant itself will be the third owned by the Group, PowerCo’s first cell factory in North America, and will provide more BEVs from the Group’s brand portfolio with enhanced battery cells. In the U.S., the Group is planning to launch more than 25 new BEV models before 2030 – with its intent to achieve this goal by creating new synergies and leveraging the wider region’s technical expertise, production capacities, supply chains and market knowledge of all brands in Canada, the United States, and Mexico to do so.
Here, Volkswagen will also look to develop its manufacturing capabilities in the region, with plans to upgrade its Mexico plants in the Puebla municipality and the city of Silao for BEV assembly. The Group is further investigating the potential to assemble BEV components in the country, such as electric motors, in the second half of the decade.
Another key expansion activity currently being rolled out by Volkswagen for North America is the electrification of its Scout Motors brand. Through this revival, the Group is targeting the truck and rugged SUV segments popular in the region with new BEVs built on a dedicated all-electric off-roading platform. These EVs will be produced at a new plant in Columbia, South Carolina – a new facility which itself is targeting an annual production capacity of more than 200,000 vehicles and a production start date before the end of 2026.
Volkswagen also confirmed that its software and technology company, CARIAD, established a technology hub in the U.S. at the beginning of 2023. Based in the greater Seattle area and Silicon Valley, the company’s team in the region will support Volkswagen’s Automotive Cloud – which will offer new connectivity innovations for future Group vehicles – in addition to next-generation automated driving and digital experience software. CARIAD itself has also announced new partnerships with Microsoft (for backend and cloud technologies) and Qualcomm (for high-performance hardware), with both ultimately working to accelerate its innovation and technology development in the region.