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There are a lot of impressive things about the Volkswagen Phaeton. Like the notion that a Vee-Dub could share its underpinnings with a Bentley, and the sheer chutzpah of taking the People's Car up-market to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and its own sister-company's Audi A8. But few factors stand out quite like the Transparent Factory.

While most automotive assembly plants are greasy behemoths sequestered off on the fringes of industrial cities, the assembly plant that puts together the Phaeton (as well as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, until its transfer to Crewe in 2006) stands as a squeaky-clean, glassed-in pantheon to the automobile right in the heart of downtown Dresden, Germany.

Volkswagen developed a number of brilliant technologies for use in the factory, from the moving wood floor and electronically-tracked nuts and bolts to the magnet-driven robots that shuttle the parts around the facility and the cargo tram that delivers them there. All of this and more is on display to visitors as well as customers coming to take delivery directly on premises. It's a wonder to behold: Discovery's MegaWorld series went by to check it out, and you can too with the video after the jump. Thanks for the tip, RosenBrodi!

originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Nov 2010
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