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Volkswagen: to build Trinity model at Zwickau, no further plant needed

FILE PHOTO: Press day at the Los Angeles Auto Show

BERLIN (Reuters) -Volkswagen plans to build its new generation of Trinity electric vehicles (EV) at its factory in Zwickau, Europe's largest carmaker said on Friday, scrapping plans for an all-new factory that were pushed under the group's former CEO.

The Trinity electric car, which is to be based on Volkswagen's new scalable systems platform (SSP), was supposed to be launched in 2026 as part of plans by former CEO Herbert Diess.

However, shortly after taking office, his successor Oliver Blume pushed the project back by two years in order to relieve pressure on the struggling software subsidiary Cariad.

Volkswagen had initially planned to build a new factory for the model, but due to delays in developing the brand, the German carmaker was also considering converting its Wolfsburg factory.

"It was decided that there was no need to build an additional plant in Wolfsburg Warmenau," the German carmaker said after a supervisory board meeting during which the location for the prestige EV was discussed.

The news is part of the production allocation plant for Volkswagen's namesake brand through 2028, the group said.

Instead, the Trinity project will go to Volkswagen's Zwickau plant, which is currently suffering from weak demand and is in the process of cutting its three-shift production schedule that has been in place for more than three decades.

The carmaker added that its iconic Golf model would be "led into the electric future" at its main Wolfsburg plant, the carmaker's headquarters that was hit by a major IT outage earlier this week.

"Within the context of our performance program, this newly approved vehicle allocation plan will make a substantial contribution to a strong, competitive VW brand," Volkswagen brand CEO Thomas Schaefer said.

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Christoph Steitz, Writing by Friederike Heine, Editing by Miranda Murray and Jan Harvey)