VW to build Crafter in Poland after Daimler contract ends

Article by Anita Panait, on January 23, 2014

Volkswagen will produce its Crafter van at its Poznan site in Poland after terminating a contract with Daimler, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported. Daimler currently builds the Crafter alongside the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at its Duesseldorf and Ludwigsfelde sites in Germany. Once the contract with Daimler ends in 2016, VW will not renew it, the German paper said.

The shift of Crafter production to the Poznan site would require approval from VW's supervisory board – which may hit a snag since it is dominated by representatives of the carmaker’s German workforce that has tended to oppose moves by management to transfer production abroad.

VW had considered its Hanover site for Crafter production but costs are lower in Poland.

According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the supervisory board had yet to make a formal decision but was likely to approve the move before the VW’s annual results press conference on March 13.

A Volkswagen spokesman remarked that no decision had been taken on where the van will be built, adding that "the evaluation process continues."

VW currently produces the Caddy and T5 smaller vans at its Poznan site. The German carmaker is considering a EUR500 million ($677 million) investment to add annual capacity for 70,000 Crafters, according to the daily.

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