Celebrations at the California production plant in Hannover: 50,000x motoring leisure direct from the factory
Commenting on the production landmark, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand, Dr. Eckhard Scholz, said: "The Volkswagen T5 California is the most popular and best-selling camper van in its class. Today, we have completed production of the 50,000th T5 California since 2004. And this year, with a figure of over 8,100 units, we will achieve the highest level of annual production yet."
Thomas Zwiebler, chairman of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles works council, stressed the contribution made by the staff: "My thanks go to the team, without whose dedication and expertise this story of success would never have been possible."
The California is offered in two versions: as the California Beach with a basic level of equipment for occasional overnight stops and as the California Comfortline with full camper van amenities for longer tours. To date, 13,000 units of the California Beach have been produced, while for the California Comfortline the number is 37,000.
Before the basic T5 vehicles get converted into the T5 California, they first pass through bodywork construction, the paint shop and the basic assembly facility at the main plant in Hannover Stöcken. Then they go on their first journey by truck to the California production facility in the Hannover district of Limmer. There they are given a weight-saving aluminium pop-up roof, aluminium cupboards, a compressor cool box, a cooker and a comfortable bed.
The California production facility belongs to the Special Vehicles business unit of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which fits out the Transporter and Multivan ranges for special uses. These include operations vehicles for the police, postal and customs services, plus taxis, vehicles for people with disabilities, the Multivan Business and especially the T5 California.
The California production facility covers around 13,000 square metres. Working there are nearly 150 men and women, all of whom are specialists trained in manual trades, which are not necessarily applied in typical car manufacturing, but in the conversion of the camper van's interior: gas fitters and plumbers, 230V domestic electricians, joiners and trade show stand builders.
Since the launch of the California model, its popularity has grown with every new generation. Production figures for the T3 version totalled 22,000 and for the California T4 39,000. In the latest version, the Volkswagen California T5 has already reached a production record of 50,000 and manufacturing continues on a two-shift basis in order to meet the high level of demand.
The 50,000th vehicle is a California Comfortline in Natural Grey with 7-speed DSG, a 103kW TDI engine and BlueMotion package. This California will be on show at this year's Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf (30th August to 7th September) on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles stand.
[Source : VOLKSWAGEN]