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The launch of the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan held in Dresden, Germany, was anything but ordinary. Planned to absolute perfection and executed phenomenally, the trip allowed us to have a better understanding of the brand and its standing with a visit to one of Dresden’s most popular tourist attractions, the Transparent Factory.
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The Gläserne Manufaktur, or Transparent Factory in English, is a masterpiece created by architect Gunter Henn and one that opened its doors to the public in 2002. Home to F-segment sedans such as the stunning Bentley Flying Spur and the now discontinued Volkswagen Phaeton, the Transparent Factory is no regular factory.
Covering an area of 83,000 m2, the Transparent Factory is an L-shaped building that is located on an 8.3-hectare site on Straßburger Platz. The generous use of glass, plays a vital role in the factory’s name and encompasses the 40-meter high tower where completed vehicles are stored prior to their collection by customers. The interior, which is equally impressive, is bedecked with some 24,000 square meters of parquetry flooring and is unlike any automotive factory you can imagine.
Customization is key and something that is highly encouraged at the Transparent Factory. Those looking to stand out or simply create a unique vehicle, can find peace in knowing that the Factory allows for a virtually endless list of choices spanning the type of leather, trim options, seats, and a vast palette of exterior hues to choose from. While your car is being prepared, there are also a number of living and dining areas to explore.
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Glimpse into the future
Welcoming an approximate 140,000 visitors annually, the Transparent Factory is an attraction that is set to undergo a number of exciting changes. While retaining superstars such as the 1976 Golf, the 2001 Hybrid Bora and the breathtaking XL1, the remodeling of the production lines could potentially see the start of the hybrid offerings such as the Passat GTE, e-Golf, or the e-Up.
If you’re in Dresden, the Transparent Factory is an absolute must, take our word for it! And even if English is a language you aren't all that comfortable with, give it a go, for guided tours are offered in more than a dozen languages inlcuding Czech and Polish. After all, wouldn't you like to see a factory that pedestrians and residents claim they cannot hear any noise from even when standing right next to it?