Area: 4,100,000 m²
Production: about 234.250 vehicles (12/2017)
Models: Volkswagen Passat, Passat Variant, Passat Alltrack, Passat GTE, Passat GTE Variant, Volkswagen Arteon
Employees: about 8.700 (12/2017)
Plant Manager: Andreas Dick
Volkswagen's Emden plant is the largest industrial employer in the region of Germany to the west of Bremen and to the north of the Ruhr area. The plant occupies a total area of 4,100,000 square meters, with buildings covering about 40 percent. The plant site also features parking areas for vehicles to be exported and a test facility.
The declared objective of the plant is to manufacture environmentally compatible vehicles in an environmentally compatible production process.. High product quality is the key to success as quality leads to customer satisfaction and is therefore a decisive costelement and factor in competition. The Emden plant produces the Passat Saloon and is the only plant to produce the Passat Variant, Passat Alltrack, Passat GTE in the eighth generation and Passat GTE Variant, as well as the Volkswagen Arteon. 234,250 vehicles were produced at the plant in 2017.
A special feature of the plant is a press shop with a total area of 40,000 m², including storage area for finished parts andrail connection, which was inaugurated in 2001. The halls of the press shop house two vacuum transfer presses, each designed for a total force of 7,300 tonnes. The press shop mainly produces interior and exterior parts for the Passat models, including side parts, doors, roofs, engine compartment covers, tailgates and fenders. Components for models of other brands are also produced here. The capacity is currently about 200,000 parts per week.
Andreas Dick has been the manager of the Emden plant since April 2016. Previously, Dick was the manager of the FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan, China. Dick, who holds a production engineering degree, joined the Volkswagen Group in 1998. In 2006, he transferred from the Wolfsburg plant, where he was head of body production, to a similar position in Mexico. In 2008, he became head of Car Plant 2 in Chanchun. From 2011, Andreas Dick played a key role in developing a second location in Foshan and then became plant manager.
Production and the environment
Emden has opted for environmentally compatible, efficient technologies. The plant is especially contributing to the expansion of renewable energies in the East Frisia region.
Volkswagen‘s Think Blue. Factory. program aims to make production 45% more environmentally compatible by 2025 compared with 2010. The goals include higher resource efficiency, lower emissions and increased use of renewable energies at all plants. One example is near-surface geothermal system at the Emden plant. The new body shop with an area of 63,000 m² was constructed on 5,000 piles driven up to 24 m into the ground. About 3,300 of these piles act as "energy piles". They are used to cool water, initially for the cooling of welding systems. The water which has been heated in this cooling process is used for space heating in the building before it is returned to the energy piles for cooling again. Another project concerns the floor of the logistics centre. This is the first industrial building in the Group with energy-efficient underfloor heating. Energy for this heating system is supplied by a district heating system with heat generated by a biomass power plant burning used wood in a carbon-neutral way. Volkswagen's Emden plant also uses solar energy. A cooperative among the workforce to operate renewable energy systems at the plant was already established in 2008.
Wind power facilities have also been installed at the plant. Since 2010,. the municipal utilities of Emden have used areas on the plant site for the operation of the world's most powerful wind turbine (E-126). Each of these turbines supplies enough power for 5,000 households. The group power supplier, Volkswagenkraftwerk GmbH, also installed four wind turbines for power generation in 2014. The renewable power generated is not fed to the plant network, but makes a contribution to its positive carbon dioxide balance. In future, the topic of carbon dioxide reduction will become increasingly important. Under the pact for the future, Volkswagen's Emden plant has developed the vision of a virtually carbon-neutral plant..für regenerative Energien am Standort Emden" gegründet.
The port of Emden is Europe's third largest port for vehicle shipments. At the port, virtually all models of Volkswagen Group brands shipped from European and overseas ports are handled by Volkswagen Group Logistics and Autoport Emden GmbH. Every year, about 950 ships, 150,000 railcars and 40,000 trucks come to the estuary of the Ems to deliver or collect vehicles. From Emden, imported vehicles are distributed to destinations in Germany as well as to Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Finland and South Africa. Automakers also use the port of Emden for the shipment of their vehicles to countries throughout the world, including the USA, Japan and Spain. Every working day, about 6,000 new vehicles are handled via the port of Emden. In total, more than 1.4 million vehicles are imported and exported every year.
Volkswagen has provided support for the industrial estate being developed on the former "FRISIA" refinery site by the municipality of Emden with aid from the state of Lower Saxony and the EU since 2003. Apart from other companies and business start-ups, the estate also provides sites for Volkswagen suppliers. 10 suppliers now produce components for the Passat there and supply them to the plant using the just-in-sequence approach.
The total workforce at the Emden plant is 8,700. Volkswagen assumes responsibility towards its employees. Processes at Emden are continually reviewed with respect to health, safety and ergonomics, optimized and adjusted to meet the needs of employees. At its Emden plant, Volkswagen trains young people in a total of 12 vocations and also offers five dual courses of study. Each year more than 100 apprentices and students on these courses have an opportunity to train with one of the world's largest automakers and then to be employed within the Volkswagen Group.
On February 4, 1964, the State of Lower Saxony, the shipping and waterway administration, the city of Emden and Volkswagen AG signed contracts for the purchase of an industrial site with an area of about 200 ha in the immediate vicinity of the port of Emden. There were two major reasons for the choice of Emden as a site for the plant. Firstly, the port of Emden is the major German seaport offering the shortest possible shipping distances to overseas countries. Secondly, the large labor force available in the East Frisia region was a key factor. Emden and East Frisia were one of the most economically depressed areas of Western Germany. At that time, unemployment was about 25 percent; now, the figure in the region is about seven percent. As production volumes rose, the workforce of the plant grew from the initial figure of 790 to over 3,000 in 1965, in only one year.
After only nine months of construction, the first Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the production line at Emden, Volkswagen's fifth plant in Germany, on December 8, 1964. Volkswagen Emden initially specialized in the production of the Beetle, especially for the North American market. However, over the 50-year history of the plant, many other Volkswagen models such as the Type 2 Bus, Golf I, Type 181 Kurier, Audi 80, Santana, Type 4 Bus and Taro have been produced here.
The Passat has been produced at Emden since 1977. Since then, the Emden plant has been the lead plant for production of this model. Currently, t he eighth-generation Passat is produced here. The total number of vehicles produced at Emden and delivered to customers by the end of 2016 was more than 11.3 million. Since 1964,. Volkswagen has become the largest industrial employer in Emden and the entire North-West region. Not only the 8,832 people employed directly at the plant but also the economy of the entire region, including suppliers, the logistics sector, the port, craftsmen and retailers benefit from the Volkswagen plant.