Volkswagen Group announced that it has selected St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada, to establish its first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing. The facility, which will produce sustainable unified cells, is set to start production in 2027. The decision to expand the PowerCo cell production ramp-up from Europe to Canada is part of the ambitious growth strategy of the Group in North America.
From left: Oliver Blume, CEO of Volkswagen Group; Thomas Schmall, Group Board Member Technology; Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
The new plant in St. Thomas will be the third 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. Volkswagen and PowerCo agreed upon a Memorandum of Understanding with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in August last year, which focuses on battery value creation and raw material security to promote e-mobility in the country.
Arno Antlitz, CFO & COO of Volkswagen Group, said that the new plant presents the Group with a unique opportunity to grow profitably in North America and play a key role in driving the transition to electric mobility there.
In addition to the new gigafactory, the Volkswagen Group is driving forward the introduction of the broadest portfolio of full-electric vehicles in the United States, with plans to introduce more than 25 new BEV models through 2030. The Group also plans to create more synergies and use the innovative strength, technical expertise, production capacities, supply chains, and market knowledge of all brands in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Volkswagen will 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.
Furthermore, with the electrification of the iconic Scout brand, the Group will enter the highly attractive truck and rugged SUV segments. Scout vehicles are being designed and developed from the ground up on a new all-electric platform that emphasizes off-road capability. Scout Motors is backed by the Volkswagen Group and operates as an independent unit within the Group. More than 200,000 Scout vehicles are expected to roll off the Columbia, South Carolina production line each year, with production scheduled to begin by the end of 2026.
To bring the US-specific digital customer experience to the next level and leverage the US’s leading position in technology and software innovation, Volkswagen’s software and technology company CARIAD has established a technology hub in the US, with a team of over 200 software engineers and developers based in the greater Seattle area and Silicon Valley working on Volkswagen’s Automotive Cloud that will connect the next generations of vehicles from all Group brands like Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, as well as next-generation software in automated driving.