Volkswagen’s Car Towers at Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany
The Autostadt is a visitor attraction adjacent to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, with a prime focus on automobiles. It features a museum, feature pavilions for the principal automobile brands in the Volkswagen Group, a customer center where customers can pick up new cars, and take a tour through the enormous factory, a guide to the evolution of roads, and cinema in a large sphere.
One of the prime attractions at the Autostadt is the two gleaming car parking towers of glass and galvanized steel where cars are automatically moved from the Wolfsburg plant and on to the customer center where they are collected by their owners.
Each tower is 60 meters tall and houses 400 cars each and are the heart of vehicle delivery at the Autostadt. The two towers are connected to the Volkswagen factory by a 700 meter underground tunnel. A conveyor belt system transports finished cars directly from the adjacent manufacturing plant to the towers' basement.
From there they are lifted into position via mechanical arms that rotate and run along a central beam, moving vehicles in and out of their bays at a speed of two meters per second. When a customer purchases a car from Autostadt the car is picked from the silo and transported out to the customer without having driven a single meter, and the odometer is thus on "0".
Visitors can explore the tower via a panoramic glass elevator, and are eventually taken to an observation deck on the twentieth floor, giving a view of the factory, the town of Wolfsburg and the surrounding countryside.
History of the Autostadt
Back in 1994, Volkswagen was coming up with new ways to showcase and document their stages of automotive production. Specifically, they were working on ways to blow the crowds away at the Expo 2000, an upcoming world expo in Hanover, Germany 6 years away, or held in the year 2000.
The idea of this massive car tower took some fleshing out, but by 1998, the Autostadt, a german word for car city, broke ground. The site where it is built was the former location of a fuel company that sat next to the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg.
As you can probably tell by the architectural beauty of the complex as a whole, the project was no small task. Over 400 architects worked on designing the entire site which began opening in May of 2000.
Initially, it was used to present famous cars to the public, but that wasn't the only plans for the structure. Volkswagen spent roughly 476 Million USD construction the entire complex, or 850 Million German Marks.
Because the complex is located right next to the main Volkswagen production plant, it has become a major attraction for the area.
All of the attractions at the car tower
The car tower complex attracts roughly 2 million visitors each year due to it's unique architectural prowess and the attractions therein.
Given that the attraction is owned by Volkswagen, you can expect that the entire site is used to promote their brand. There's an off-road track where guests can drive the Volkswagen Touareg and other off-road-y Volkswagen vehicles.
While getting to drive on the large off-road track requires a driver's license, there's even a mini track where children can drive around small Volkswagen Beetles.
In one of the rooms at the car tower complex, there is a variety of computer modules that allow guests to interact with car design software. They can even change around variables like different fuels to see how this affects the performance of the cars, all in simulation, of course.
While the site as a whole has a variety of structures and exhibits, by far the most visually stimulating are the Autostadt car towers, called AutoTürme. They are used for storage for new Volkswagens and are directly connected to the Volkswagen factory through a 700-meter tunnel underground.
One of the biggest benefits to Volkswagen and its customers in regards to having these massive car towers and architectural attraction is that new car purchasers get to choose this as a delivery option. Volkswagen customers can either have their car delivered at the dealer, or they can opt to travel to Autostadt to take delivery.
If they choose this option, Volkswagen provides the customers with free entry to the park, a free meal, and other events for the customer leading up to the final delivery of their car.
Like we mentioned before in this article, one of the coolest things about the Autostadt towers is that they allow the cars to not have been driven a single mile before delivery. Since they are connected to the main plant through a tunnel, the cars literally come straight off of the production line and into storage in the tower.
That means that customers who choose to purchase from the tower get the added perk of being the first person to sit in the driver's seat and drive the car.
For Volkswagen purchasers, there's not a better way to take delivery of their new car other than visiting the plant. It truly brings you up close and personal to the production of the machine that you're spending a lot of money on purchasing.
Since the structures were completed in the year 2000, over 2 million customers have opted to take delivery from the car towers. Today, roughly 500 new cars are delivered to customers from the towers each and every day.
Regardless of whether you're purchasing a new Volkswagen or not, visiting the Autostadt car towers while you're in Germany is probably something you should put on your travel to do list. It's a bit of a landmark in the area and there's plenty to do there that will keep you busy and entertained.