VW to handcraft their next heavy van
Volkswagen has announced they are to go-it-alone in the heavy van market, after their current manufacturing agreement with Mercedes-Benz comes to an end in 2016. A brand new production facility in Poland will assemble the next generation Crafter, which is currently built alongside the Sprinter in Dusseldorf.
The Crafter only makes up around 5% of VW’s commercial vehicle sales and it’s the only sector where VW are outsold by their German neighbours. This is clearly a concern for the Volkswagen board, who are now attempting to rectify this in the new venture.
“With the decision to build the new Crafter in Poland, we are setting a new strategic course for our light commercial vehicles”, explains Dr Leif Östling, commercial vehicle board member at Volkswagen AG.
“The Crafter is the ideal candidate for all growth markets in the world and will further advance Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles along its path as a globally operating manufacturer. The new plant in Września will become the second site in Poland for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles after Poznań, where the urban delivery vehicle, the Caddy, has been rolling off the assembly line for more than a decade.”
The future factory premises will cover some 220 hectares and will consist of a body shop, a paint shop and final assembly for up to 85,000 vehicles per year. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of 2014 with vehicle production starting in the fourth quarter of 2016.