Dr. Martin Winterkorn explained: ‘Volkswagen has big growth opportunities worldwide in the light commercial vehicles segment. With the start of production in Hanover, the Amarok has finally arrived in Europe. The Amarok ‘made in Hanover’ stands for the production capability of the location and gives additional ongoing impetus to the success story of our Volkswagen pickup.’ It is planned to produce approximately 40,000 Amarok in a full production year, for delivery to customers in Eastern and Western Europe and Africa. Production at the Pacheco site in Argentina will be concentrating on deliveries to Latin America and South America in future.
‘It is wonderful that the Amarok is now to be produced in Lower Saxony. This is a good decision for the site at Hanover. The Amarok is the first pickup of its class from a European manufacturer – and it is a great vehicle,’ commented Prime Minister of Lower Saxony David McAllister.
At present the pre-production is being built on the Amarok assembly line. Following today’s launching ceremony it will soon make way for the pilot series. Serial production will commence from the end of June and then 185 Amarok per working day will roll off the Hanover assembly lines. ‘Hanover and the Transporter plant have belonged together for many decades. I wish Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles all possible success with the Amarok. The decision to locate production in Hanover demonstrates that Germany remains competitive as a location for automotive production. The Amarok secures the jobs of many thousands of people, not only on the plant, but also in the region,’ Lord Mayor of Hanover Stephan Weil emphasised.
Chairman of the Volkswagen General and Group Works Councils Bernd Osterloh said: ‘The General Works Council agrees with the Group and Brand Management Boards that the workforce and the management have cooperated outstandingly in setting up the new production. They have demonstrated the competitiveness of the location and, by doing so, have set the course for the future.’
Setting up production of the Amarok involved extensive modernisations in Hall 2 – where the LT, was manufactured from 1975 to 2006 – and also integration of the Amarok into the paint shop and the body shop, as well as the construction of the new vehicle assembly lines.
‘Our workforce stands for tradition, experience and flexibility. Thus our employees willingly took on, and successfully mastered, the difficult task of integrating another product into a plant which has had good capacity utilisation since 2011. The team is justifiably proud of what they have achieved and they are looking forward to the Amarok,’ confirmed Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Works Council Chairman Thomas Zwiebler.
Five generations of the Volkswagen Bus, altogether almost 8.5 million Transporter, Caravelle, Multivan and California models have been produced in Hanover since 1956. Additionally, about one million LT, Taro, MAN-G trucks and, in the 1970s, several tens of thousands of ‘Beetles’ have rolled off the assembly lines there. Since 2009 the plant has also been producing the painted body for the Porsche Panamera. In 2011 it was decided that the pickup Amarok – as a double cab – would also be produced at the traditional plant.
For Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, as head of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Brand, establishing the Amarok at the Hanover plant was a historic moment. ‘In the world of Volkswagen there are probably few factories, and hardly any other team, capable of building vehicles with such variants. Here in Hanover we now have the T5, the painted Panamera body, and now also the Amarok. We have high capacity utilisation, we are productive and profitable.’
Schreiber said the Amarok had not only established itself in successfully South America, South Africa and Australia. In Europe, too, its efficient drive engineering, driving comfort, the ample space it offers, its high level of safety and not least its robustness have made the Amarok a trailblazer for the modern pickup class, as witnessed by its continually rising sales and the top position it has already attained in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. ‘With the two Amarok locations at Pacheco in Argentina and Hanover in the heart of Europe, we have achieved effective regional deployment.’ Production in Hanover, he said, would mean even more availability and shorter delivery times for customers in Europe. This could be expected to make a substantial contribution to boosting Amarok sales yet further, Schreiber emphasised.
The opening ceremony took place before the annual site symposium. Every year at the symposium members of the Volkswagen Board of Management discuss the development of the site with the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Brand Board of Management, the Plant Management and the Works Council.