Volkswagen's 'Transparent Factory'
Continued from page 1
ABOVE: One of two floors in the production area,
where about 30 Phaetons are built each day.
Visiting the factory
There are two ways to visit the factory:
1. Buy a Phaeton.
When you order a Phaeton from a Volkswagen dealer, the dealer
can help you schedule a visit to the Studio in the Transparent Factory, where a
customer manager will introduce you to fabrics, leather, wood veneers, paint
colors, etc. that you can see, feel, and smell in person instead of relying on a
swatchbook or catalog. Later, you can come back to watch your Phaeton being
custom-built (final assembly takes two days) and to pick up your completed car.
Alternatively, you can:
2. Book a public tour.
The Transparent Factory is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
(except when special functions are on the calendar), but the best time to visit
is during production hours, when you can put on a white lab coat and be taken
through the assembly area.
To learn more about public tours and admission fees, clock
"Multilingual Tours" in the
Service section of the factory's bilingual
Web site or e-mail:
your Transparent Factory visit, go outside to the Am Strassburger Platz
station of the Dresden Park
Railway, which will take you on a 5.6-km (3½-mile) circuit of the Grosser
Garten. And if a VW Phaeton is beyond your
budget, you may want to tour Dresden via
Trabi Safari in a
restored Trabant (the East German minicar that was produced from 1957 until
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