The standard production version of Volksagen's Concept C design study four-seater Volkswagen convertible is to be manufactured in the "Volkswagen Autoeuropa - Automóveis Lda." factory in Portugal.

The concept was shown at the at the Geneva motor show in March this year. Volkswagen says that Concept C, a combined coupe and convertible, has an innovative folding steel roof that means the car can be converted from a coupe to an open-top car 'in just a few seconds'.

The market launch of this convertible, which is positioned between the Golf and the Passat, is scheduled for the first quarter of 2006.

"Volkswagen Autoeuropa - Automóveis Lda." in Palmela, Portugal, is described by VW as one of Europe's most modern car manufacturing plants. Approximately 3,100 staff are employed in the factory that was set up as a joint venture to make MPVs with Ford in the mid-90s. However, Ford subsequently withdrew from the venture - although Galaxy MPVs continue to be made there under contract.

The plant currently suffers from poor capacity utilisation and speculation about what vehicles Volkswagen would allocate to the plant to reduce overcapacity has been rife. Last summer, Volkswagen announced a €500 million investment programme for the plant.