SOURCE: Automotive NewsVW plans Audi assembly in Emden
Henning Krogh | Automotive News / April 10, 2007 - 7:05 am
EMDEN, Germany – The Volkswagen plant here in northwest Germany is being prepared to begin producing Audi and possibly Skoda models, Automobilwoche has learned.
Company sources say that the plant, which now produces the upper-medium Passat, is setting up a flexible production line capable of handling a variety of vehicles based on VW group’s new “B-C-D” platform. The line initially will build the new Audi A4 to relieve pressure on the brand’s main factory in Ingolstadt, the sources say. That plant is operating at nearly full capacity.
The new flexible line will make it possible for Emden to produce cars with longitudinally mounted engines, used by Audi. That makes it possible for the next Passat generation to return to a longitudinal engine layout.
The ability to manufacture different models and brands in any VW group plant is a goal of VW’s new CEO, Martin Winterkorn. “We want to mesh our production systems more closely together,” Winterkorn said in a recent interview with Automobilwoche.
Asked about the plans, Emden plant manager Siegfried Fiebig said VW Supervisory Board Chairman Ferdinand Piëch had encouraged him “to put the factory into a position where it can build cars for other company brands.”
The plant already is flexible enough to produce various Passat-based models, he said.
“With greater flexibility,” Fiebig said, “we can at least be on par with Toyota.”