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Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Volkswagen opens a brand new facility to produce the next generation Crafter Commercial Vehicle.
Opening gala with 1,000 guests from politics, business, employee workforce, the Volkswagen Group and unions
Around 3,000 employees will produce 100,000 vehicles annually
Approx. 800 million euros invested in the new production site
Around 1,000 guests from politics and business as well as representatives from the workforce and unions – from Poland and Germany – met together with members of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group and its brands to officially open the automotive plant that is dedicated to production of the new Crafter. Europe’s most advanced new factory of its kind was erected in a record time of just 23 months – from spade in the ground in November 2014 until start of production.
Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG with responsibility for the business area of commercial vehicles, thanked everyone who participated in the construction project for their excellent cooperative work on behalf of the Volkswagen Group. He noted that this is what made it possible to build this new, significant automotive production site. Renschler gave special thanks to the employees: “Building the new plant in record time demonstrates the excellent team spirit of all of our employees at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: clear goals, joint implementation and each individual taking on a high level of responsibility all led to the success of this ambitious project.”
Renschler underscored the importance of the new Crafter and the new plant for the strategic alignment of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles group: “Our re-development of the new Crafter and our newly constructed plant with an annual capacity of 100,000 units positions us better than ever in the growing market of large vans.” The new factory also signifies a new partnership in automotive manufacturing between Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Crafter) and MAN (TGE) – two brands within the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles group.
Lower Saxony Minister President Stephan Weil took part in the opening as a member of the supervisory board. He was visibly impressed by the new factory and conveyed the best wishes from the government of the German state of Lower Saxony. “As you know, the automotive industry finds itself in a state of transformation. Everything that I have seen here makes me confident that this production site will be fit for the future,” said Weil. “I wish our employees much success in the tasks that await us in upcoming years.”
Dr Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, explained that the brand had confidently mastered a “dual challenge” – namely developing an excellent van while simultaneously building its advanced production site. “We are proud of the precise and on-schedule implementation of this project, and above all of the people who made it happen. They all made a personal contribution towards attaining this challenging goal. I offer my heartfelt thanks to them. This kind of commitment serves as a model for the future of our brand. Just a few weeks ago, the Crafter was named ‘International Van of the Year 2017’ by a renowned selection committee. This shows that we are on the right path with our vehicle and our factory. Now we need to turn our focus to the future, to the challenging production launch and other upcoming challenges.”
Jens Ocksen, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Poznań, explained that the new plant represents a combination of “excellently qualified and highly motivated employees with advanced, efficient and ergonomic production processes”. He also noted that the plant had become one of the largest construction sites in Europe. He said that he is proud of his team, who raced from milestone to milestone and delivered top quality. “None of this will change during the ramp-up of the plant either,” assured Ocksen. In addition to environmental considerations, social and cultural aspects were consistently and continually considered in the concept, construction, building equipment and production processes. “We have implemented many innovative solutions. The Września plant was built with an eye to the future - it features the latest technology while being environmentally efficient.” Just recently, it received an award from the German Sustainable Building Council for its new buildings, exemplary green areas, social amenities and production facilities.
Around 3,000 people are employed at the new plant. Many new jobs were also created in the vicinity of the plant by developing the supplier network and the service provider sector.
The Września production site is by far the largest foreign investment to date in Poland with a volume of 800 million euros for the construction and production facilities.
Data, figures and facts on the new plant in Września, Poland
Size of the plant:
220 hectares (2.2 km²), equivalent to around 300 soccer fields.
Planned production volume:
100,000 cars annually = 17 vehicles per hour = approx. 380 vehicles per day.
Vehicles: 69 Crafter derivatives. Cargo volumes up to 18.4 m3, maximum cargo compartment height of 2,196 mm. Vehicle length up to 7,391 mm, height up to 2,798 mm, max. gross weight: 5.5 metric tonnes.
Around 3,000 employees in a three-shift system.
Around 800 million euros.
45 suppliers from Poland (7 of them from the region) supply the plant.
Awards: The new Crafter was named “International Van of the Year 2017” by a renowned selection committee.
Figures and data on plant construction:
During excavation, approx. 1,000,000 m³ of soil was moved with 50,000 trips by dump trucks.
22,000 metric tonnes of structural steel and 8,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel were used.
50,000 m³ of concrete was poured by 6,000 cement trucks.
4,000 foundation pilings were rammed 16 metres into the ground.
15,000 metres of utility pipe was laid in the plant.
19,000 training sessions were performed in the framework of occupational safety.
In the ramp-up phase, approx. 3,500 (construction) workers were employed at the plant construction site in Września.
The plant was erected in just 23 months, from groundbreaking in November 2014 until its opening on 24 October 2016.
Brief information on Września
Września is a city in the Wielkopolska region of Poland, around 50 kilometres east of Poznań. The first documented mention of a settlement at the location of modern Września comes from the year 1256 when it was known as Vresc. Area: 12.73 km2. Population: around 30,000.