The Golf conveyor belts hum along in Hall 54, the models change at timed intervals. They travel along one assembly line bumper to bumper, no matter whether they are a petrol, diesel, or e-drive. “That is the fundamental principle of Golf assembly – all models on one line, no exceptions. Currently every seventh one on the assembly line is a Golf with an e-motor,” says Hardy Wolnik.
Wolnik, a trained electrician, has been in charge of Hall 54’s Learning Workshop for three years. Before the e-Golf began production in March 2014, he and his employees trained more than 1,000 assembly employees. They were supposed to experience what was in store with the assembly of the e-Golf and the Golf GTE.
And what actually happened? The 57-year-old, who has worked at Volkswagen for over 30 years, explains: “First of all, nothing new. Golf is Golf, whether it´s petrol-driven, a TDI or equipped with an e-motor or plug-in drive”. Hardly anything changes for the employee: Due to the worker guidance system, he can still see which model follows in the line schedule. The monitor shows which Golf type is next and which material is needed for the work step. Every employee is trained for this in the Learning Workshop before a series begins production.
However, the employees have to do an extra qualification in Golf assembly. Those who work with the e-Golf or GTE have to do safety and accident training, and learn how to handle high-voltage vehicles. Wolnik: “All employees have to attend this course, even though there is no live current when the e-Golf and the GTE are on the assembly line.” The models are switched to live current only at the final section. Before that, the Golf is just a Golf – all the way down the assembly line.