New Crafter Plant in Września, Poland: ultra-modern technology and high resource efficiency

20 October 2016

Festive plant opening in Września, Poland: about 1,000 guests from state authorities and business as well as representatives from the workforce and unions – from Poland and Germany – joined with members of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group and its brands to officially start up the automotive plant that is dedicated to production of the new Crafter. Europe’s most advanced new factory of its kind was build up in a record time of just 23 months – from groundbreaking in November 2014 until start of production.

On behalf of the Volkswagen Group 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 work. 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 resuming made the ambitious project successful.”

Renschler underscored the importance of the new Crafter and the new plant (220 hectares = 2.2 km²) for the strategic alignment of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles group: “Our redevelopment 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 highlights a new partnership in automotive manufacturing between Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Crafter) and MAN (TGE) – two brands within Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

Lower Saxony Minister President Stephan Weil took part in the opening ceremony as a member of the supervisory board. He was visibly impressed by the new factory and conveyed 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 the 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, stated that the brand 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 had a hand attaining this challenging goal. I would like to express my honest thanks to you. 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 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 the concept, constructions, building equipment and production processes, environmental considerations, social and cultural aspects were consistently and continually considered as well. “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.

About 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.