Zwickau, a city in Germany’s east, may not be as famous as Detroit, but its economy has revolved around internal combustion engines since August Horch established Audi here at the beginning of the 20th century.

So when Volkswagen announced in 2018 that it would convert its Zwickau factory, the largest private employer in the area, to manufacture nothing but electric vehicles, it was a big deal.

"A lot of people were skeptical,” said Michael Fuchs, who has worked at the factory for more than a quarter-century. They wondered, "What’s going to happen?” he said.