Sao Paulo, December 5, 2018 – Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus is expanding its operation in Mexico to open a new production line at its plant in the city of Querétaro scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. The new line will allow the company to restart the production of MAN Bus chassis, with specifications geared to the Mexico market. As part of this plan, the company has just installed a new logistics center and continues to increase its sales of tailored vehicles to meet the needs of its Mexican customers.
“We are about to celebrate 15 years in Mexico and these investments demonstrate the maturity of our operation in the country. We doubled our production volume in the last year, with updates to the existing line and the introduction of new VW truck and bus models. Now is the time to take the next step,” says Roberto Cortes, President and CEO of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and a Board member of the TRATON Group.
With the new production line, the Mexican factory will increase production capacity by almost 15% , reaching 6,000 vehicles per year. The expansion will also enable the local production of the MAN RR3 and RR5 chassis, which will come in fully disassembled kits imported from the MAN factory in Germany. Previously imported, the decision to resume local assembly is a tactical decision to improve production volume planning and to meet the demand for the models in Mexico.
“These initiatives will support the competitive position of our brands in the country and will support our goals for growth and internationalization," says Leandro Radomile, General Director of the company’s Mexican operations. The executive also reveals that the venture is a result of the synergies pursued by the TRATON Group, to which both VWCO and MAN belong. The two brands have been working together to train new employees and stablish production capacity.
Increased demand for tailored vehicles is reflected in production
The so-called tailored vehicles, which are customized to meet customer needs, already represent a significant part of the Mexican factory's production volume after just one year of such offer to the market by the company, with the inauguration of the company’s exclusive optimization center, BMB.
The main customer demand is for V-Tronic automatic transmission and the inclusion of fifth-wheel coupling. Most of the production goes to Heineken, which purchased a batch of 547 vehicles. And this know-how in the beverage distribution segment has already yielded a new contract to supply 229 trucks to the AB InBev's Modelo Group.
New production line and logistics center will have cutting-edge assembly technology
The new assembly line will occupy a total of 1,500 square meters within the existing plant building. It will have five production stations, employing around 15 people and, to ensure the best use of the space, it will share the quality inspection area with the other models produced in Querétaro.
To support this increase in production, the Mexican factory has just started operating its first logistics center. It is located about 600 meters away from the plant, in an exclusive 4,200m2 warehouse in the same industrial park, and stocks the components used in production, which used to be stocked in the area where the new production line is being installed.
Since creation, the new production facilities already consider the Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus traditional flexibility concept, allowing them to respond quickly to fluctuations in the market. The lines are also equipped with modern electronic and pneumatic equipment for tightening and controlling the torque of fixings, ensuring accuracy throughout the process.And traceability is constant along the entire production line: all information is stored in real time on the VWCO network to ensure compliance and make it easier to check the specifications for each vehicle produced.
All this modern technology is also to be found in the main production line in the Mexican factory. Using this technology, the automaker was able to meet the targets for the first expansion plan stage in the assembly portfolio this year: in the first half of 2018, it started the new Delivery family and the Volksbus 14.190 SCD production in the country.