Volkswagen has officially started production at its new factory in Osnabrück following a ‘fact-finding’ visit by German president Christian Wulff.
The president, Lower Saxony’s premier David McAllister, VW AG chairman Martin Winterkorn, VW personnel chief Horst Neumann and Bernd Wehlauer, deputy chairman of the group works council, were at the plant to see production of the redesigned Golf Cabriolet.
A new example in ‘sunset red’ was Osnabrück’s Job One.
Wulff said: “I am very pleased we have been able to safeguard the future of Osnabrück as a car making location.”
“It is only just over a year since we got down to work,” Winterkorn said. “Since then, we have safeguarded many car making jobs and have also integrated the technical development and metal units. Above all, though, the team in Osnabrück has successfully managed the Golf Cabriolet start-up within the space of a year.”
Volkswagen now has six locations in Lower Saxony and produces in Osnabrück as well as in Wolfsburg, Hanover, Emden, Brunswick and Salzgitter.
Volkswagen Osnabrück will now be the group ‘competence centre’ for small series vehicles. It currently employs 1,250 and will have 1,800 by the end of the year.
The plant in Osnabrück covers the entire automotive process chain from vehicle development through tooling to production. As well as making the Golf Cabriolet it has also been planned to be an overflow facility for manufacturing the Porsche Boxster and Cayman models in future.
The plant has a total annual capacity of roughly 100,000 vehicles and VW will have spent about EUR300m there by the end of this year.