Volkswagen's Transparent Factory

End of the Road for the Volkswagen Phaeton

It was a sad day on March 18th as the final Phaeton rolled off the line at the Transparent Factory in Dresden, Germany.
Advertisement


The final Phaeton - finished in black - marks the end of an era for the German automaker. The Phaeton was Volkswagen's attempt to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8. Despite being over-engineered and being a pet project of former Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piëch, the Phaeton never took off in terms of sales. As we reported back in December, Volkswagen said production of the Phaeton would end in March.

The transparent factory where the Phaeton was built was a unique place. Volkswagen designed the factory with large windows and maple wood floors throughout. Aside from being a factory, the building also served as a visitor's center.

"Our D-class employees in Zwickau and Dresden have demonstrated outstanding manufacturing expertise with the Phaeton over the past 14 years. This know-how is also well known and highly valued at other facilities of the Volkswagen Brand and the Group," said Prof. Dr. Siegfried Fiebig, Speaker of the Management Board of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH in a statement.

The good news is no one who worked at the factory will be laid off. Some of the workers will stay at the Transparent Factory, while others will be transferred to nearby plants. As for the Transparent Factory, Volkswagen will be repurposing it to showcase the future of mobility. It is expected the Transparent Factory will resume building vehicles towards the end of the decade.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.