Audi opens new production line for R8 supercar in Heilbronn

Article by Andrew Christian, on October 19, 2014

Audi’s plant in Neckarsulm is the place where the German manufacturer builds the A4, A5, A8, Q7 as well as the R8 supercar. On Friday, things were changed as Audi moved the R8 production in the Böllinger Höfe industrial park, which is located just six kilometers from the main plant in Neckarsulm.

According to Audi, the Böllinger Höfe site covers 23 hectares, which is just a quarter of the total area of the plant located in Neckarsulm. Audi R8 production got underway in the new site on August 25, three weeks after the last R8 came off the production line at the Neckarsulm plant.

The expansion is part of Audi’s 22 billion euros investsment around the world by 2018 and according to the press release, half of these money will be invested in the facilities located in Germany. In addition, 650 million euros will be invested each year at Neckarsulm.

For those who don’t know, the next-generation Audi R8 will arrive next year and the new model is expected to follow the same general layout as the Huracan. Moreover, we will see the same 5.2-liter V10 engine that powers the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 that develops 610 hp (448 kW) and a maximum torque of 560 Nm on the Italian supercar.

The new site will also be able to manufacture more efficiently largely due to the ergonomic innovations and technological applications. Production for the R8 started at the Böllinger Höfe facility last August 25. This is barely three weeks after the last unit of the R8 left the production line at its Neckarsulm facility.

The new logistics center started its operations last March with an estimated 22,500 storage places. This particular logistics center is the central area that will supply the materials needed for production with it managing to handle about 4,500 containers on a daily basis.

In the past, everything was processed through the five external stores. With the new facility, the flow is improved due to a centralized location that coordinates everything. In addition to better supply flow, the number of shipments is lessened.

It also helps to alleviate the truck traffic from transferring the supply to the industrial park from the Heilbronn urban. Another good improvement in the establishment of the new facility is the ability to track the different shipments through GPS when it is either at Neckarsulm facility or the logistics center.

This live tracking also allows flexibility when it comes to scheduling and can even optimize the routing. Lord Mayor Harry Mergel said that the city of Heilbronn continues to have the largest industrial development for Audi.

This signifies just how important the new facility is for the area. Mergel added that with Audi cars now being produced in this new facility, it is sure to bring in more secure jobs for years to come.

Press Release

Audi extends Neckarsulm site

AUDI AG inaugurated the Audi Böllinger Höfe in Heilbronn today – an important step in the future and growth strategy of the Neckarsulm site. A state-of-the-art logistics center and production of the Audi R8 are already up and running in the Böllinger Höfe industrial park – situated around six kilometers from the main plant in Neckarsulm.

“Our domestic sites are our backbone, and the investment in the Audi Böllinger Höfe is a significant milestone for the Neckarsulm site,” explains Dr. Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production at AUDI AG. Through 2018 the company will be investing more than €22 billion worldwide. About half of the Audi investment will go to the German sites, with on average more than €650 million per year invested in the Neckarsulm site. “This extension will substantially relieve the pressure on the plant, as the growing range of models and production complexity increasingly require more space,” Waltl adds. With six models and 20 derivatives, Neckarsulm is one of the plants with the greatest product diversity and complexity in the entire Volkswagen Group. The Audi Böllinger Höfe site covers 23 hectares, around a quarter of the total area of the plant in Neckarsulm. Norbert Rank, Chairman of the Works Council in Neckarsulm, comments: “With the commissioning of the Böllinger Höfe we are creating the necessary scope for further optimizing the structures at the Neckarsulm site. And we managed to bring together central areas of quattro GmbH. We are also creating more jobs in our region.”

The Audi Böllinger Höfe site will also be home to the new R8 production facility. Various production areas, which were previously accommodated separately at the Neckarsulm plant, have now been brought together under a single roof. In particular, pre-series and series production as well as quality assurance benefit from the rapid, interdisciplinary networking. Hence the Neckarsulm site is also reinforcing its small-scale production competence. The newly created production area can be used even more efficiently and flexibly thanks to technological and ergonomic innovations. R8 production got underway in the Böllinger Höfe on August 25 – just under three weeks after the last Audi R8 came off the production line at the Neckarsulm plant.

Back in March, the new logistics center started operating with around 22,500 storage places. The logistics center is a central point for supplying materials for production. Logistics experts handle around 4,500 containers a day. Goods flows, which were processed in five external stores before the new facility was built, are now being coordinated via a centralized location. The result is further a reduction in shipments, and transfer of truck traffic from the Heilbronn urban area to the industrial park. Another improvement comes in the shape of the GPS tracking of individual shipments between the logistics center and the Neckarsulm plant. The innovative live tracking enables schedules to be adjusted flexibly to the traffic situation and also optimizes routing.

“For the city of Heilbronn the Audi location is the largest industrial development for decades,” is how Lord Mayor Harry Mergel underlines the importance of the Audi Böllinger Höfe for the region. Cars are set to be produced in Heilbronn once again after many years, bringing with it secure jobs.

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