AUTOEUROPA DIRECTOR-GENERAL Andreas Hinrichs has announced that the new Volkswagen Golf could be produced at the company’s plant at Palmela, south of Lisbon.
It would bring the total number of VW vehicles produced at Autoeuropa between now and 2010 to four including the Polo, Eos and Scirocco.
Apart from VW, Autoeuropa also produces the Sharan and Alhambra people carriers.
Talking to the press for the first time since taking over as Director-General of Autoeuropa, after the exit of Jorn Reimers in January, Andreas Hinrichs mentioned the VW Polo as a strong contender but said that the fourth model “would be a surprise” and “a better car” without actually saying that it would be the VW Golf which is currently the VW company’s best selling car.
The so-far secret fourth model forms part of a 541 million Euro investment plan that the group has for Palmela.
That investment also involves taking on additional staff and doubling production at the plant. “The factory has the capacity to produce 800 vehicles a day, but at the moment, we’re only using 50 per cent of that total capacity,” he said.
At the same time the Autoeuropa Director revealed that it planned to increase production of the VW Scirocco, which currently only produced 1.5 per cent of the VW company’s total output.
Andreas Hinrichs also announced that the company would increase its distribution network in Portugal and that to do so would necessitate the “immediate opening” of a Regional Sourcing Office (SRO) in Portugal, similar to ones that existed in Eastern Europe.
This new office would be responsible for researching the market, developing the competencies of Portuguese suppliers, and developing VW outsourcing in Portugal.
by Chris Graeme
Do you have a view on this story? Email: