Volkswagen has assigned a second model to the factory in Navarra. As well as the new generation of the Polo, it will now have a second model from the Polo range. Volkswagen World Vice-president with responsibility for Procurement Francisco Javier García Sanz highlighted the professionalism and skills of the workforce in being awarded this project, which represents a guarantee for the plant’s future.
The production of the new Polo will start next year, with the second model arriving in 2018. Indications point to it being a Polo SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle). The decision fits into Volkswagen’s plan to make Spain its Iberian Pole to manufacture small cars in market segment B, taking advantage of logistical synergies in the process.
Volkswagen has not specified the level of investment involved in the new model, although the company has already allocated 900 million euros to Landaben up to 2019 within its five-year plan, which includes another 3,300 million euros for Seat.
Volkswagen Navarra General Manager Emilio Sáenz recalled how a second model had been a target for the plant for decades, and said that it had been awarded “thanks to the conscientious and responsible efforts of each and every one of the workers of Volkswagen Navarra – and those who went before – and a sensible approach to negotiating working conditions, so we are now at a historic moment that guarantees the future of the factory”.
The management informed the works council last February that VW Navarra expects to create between 300 and 500 direct jobs in Landaben to produce the new model. This level of personnel, according to forecasts, will cover a programme of around 350,000 cars (300,000 of the Polo and around 50,000 of the new model). With this increase, the workforce will reach somewhere between 4,600 and 4,800 people. Not only that, for each job created in the Landaben factory another four will be generated in auxiliary companies, i.e. up to 2,000 new jobs, although not all of them will be located in Navarra.
Volkswagen Navarra has manufactured more than seven million Volkswagen Polos in four generations of the model. In 2015 it produced 298,358 units, of which 91% were exported to around 60 countries.