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Volkswagen's 'Transparent Factory'

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VW Dresden factory floor photo

ABOVE: One of two floors in the production area, where about 30 Phaetons are built each day.

Visiting the VW plant in Dresden

There are two ways to visit the Transparent 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 Visitors' Service section of the factory's bilingual Web site or e-mail: [email protected].

Tip:

  • Dresdner Park Railway photoAfter 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 (3-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 1991).

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Photo (c) iStockphoto.com/Robin Ahle

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