Article Author- Swagata Nandy
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The Volkswagen new manufacturing plant at Chakan, near Pune, is the 61st manufacturing unit of Volkswagen, outside of Germany; the setting of the plant is one of the biggest investments ever made by a foreign automobile company till date in India, which is amounting to more than Euro 580 million. The manufacturing plant was inaugurated on March 31, 2009, by Shri. S. C. Jamir, former Governor of Maharashtra and Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, one of the members of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft; the plant is initially built with a capacity to produce over 110,000 vehicles/ year.
The foundation of the plant has double significance. The plant is one of the most modern units in Volkswagen group and the opening of the plant is a major step of Volkswagen for starting their India operation. The Volkswagen plant at Pune is known for its high level of vertical integration with a major share of local suppliers in production infrastructure; so it’s a good solution for provision of new jobs and small industry development plans. The Pune plant covers the entire production process of Volkswagen cars [a few specific brands] including Planting Trust press shop through body shop, the paint shop and then finally the assembly of all parts and components.
The plant was built in a record time of 17 months, and the first production of Volkswagen India came out of factory within next 1 year. Currently the plant produces the Volkswagen Vento, Volkswagen Polo, and the Skoda Fabia cars. The first produce was Polo and it was the 100,000th car of Volkswagen from its Pune plant in India, outside of Germany.
The plant uses ultra new designed state-of-the-art machineries and equipments. For example, the Body shop uses the technology named Diode Laser Brazing (DLB), whereas world famous Roof & Side Framer laser technology has been implemented for welding the roof to the Volkswagen car bodies. These ultra modern facilities are environment friendly, hence are good for Pune’s local climate. One example how this plant is environment friendly is that the exhausts of the Volkswagen paint shop are re-burnt and the heat and energy procured is reused.
The Pune plant has proved a catalyst for Volkswagen brand in achieving its business expansion and sales targets in the Indian countries; Volkswagen cars have created good market rapport these days.