Rüsselsheim/Kaiserslautern. Milestone celebrations in Rhineland-Palatinate: Opel has marked the 50th anniversary of its Kaiserslautern plant with an open day. More than 15,000 visitors flocked to the Opel site. Opel Group CFO Michael Lohscheller welcomed the numerous well-known visitors such as Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer and Economics Minister Dr. Volker Wissing. “The Kaiserslautern plant is a center of component production and is a key factor in the Opel product offensive which will see 29 new models being launched by 2020. Therefore, as previously announced, we will continue to invest here,” said Lohscheller.
Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer also stressed the importance of the site. “Opel has very strong links with the city of Kaiserslautern. With more than 2,000 employees, the plant is also a major economic factor for the entire region – and that for half a century. We are happy to hear that investments will continue to be made, thus securing the future of the site,” she said.
Plant Manager Manfred Gellrich was delighted with the turnout and the numerous good wishes. “This is a great day for our workforce and a confirmation for our plant. We have seen an excellent development here over the decades and mastered numerous complex product launches.”
“Numerous modifications and investments that can be seen all over the plant show that Kaiserslautern is Opel/Vauxhall’s central European components hub. Hard work, reliability and the commitment of the workforce have shaped the history of this site. These are good prerequisites for the future,” said Lothar Sorger, chairman of the works council.
Behind the scenes and above the roofs
Opel delivered a diverse accompanying program during the course of the day. Amongst others, the roughly 15,000 visitors had the rare chance of looking behind the scenes of production, for example in the halls of the ultra-modern chassis component production, the seat structure and axle production and in the body shop. The apprentice workshop also took part in the festivities and provided young visitors with information on career opportunities at the Kaiserslautern plant.
Obviously, the most famous models made by the company in the last 50 years also played a major part. Visitors could admire a string of classic Opel vehicles, which were all made with parts delivered by the Kaiserslautern plant over the past five decades. Car enthusiasts could also test drive the bestsellers of the current product portfolio.
Apart from the central stage and numerous booths set up by clubs, associations and institutions from the region, visitors could enjoy an entertaining program for all ages. And especially courageous people could climb onto the telescopic boom of the plant-owned fire engine and be elevated to a breath-taking height, giving them a spectacular view of the plant and the surrounding area. This made the open day an experience for the entire family to cherish.
Kaiserslautern: A key element for the success of the company
The opening of the plant in Kaiserslautern on June 3, 1966 marked the start of a new era at Opel. Chassis components such as propeller shafts, clutches, steering or dampers were produced in Kaiserslautern before being delivered to the vehicle assembly plants. From the very beginning, more than 2,000 employees boosted the economy in the area and Opel has long since become an integral element of the city and the region.
Since its inauguration, Opel in Kaiserslautern has been responsible for providing its sister plants in the European production network with vehicle components. It quickly made a name for itself as a reliable partner that always delivers the vehicle components in the highest possible quality. To date, over nine million engines have been made in Kaiserslautern along with around 19 million axles and roughly 39 million seat structures. Amongst others, the plant in Kaiserslautern builds the latest generation 2.0-liter diesel engines and most of the bodywork components for the European “Car of the Year 2016”, the new Opel Astra.
The investments in the plant are the foundation for the success. €130 million were recently invested in the production of new components in Kaiserslautern. State-of-the-art production technology was installed to further improve competitiveness and to give the plant long-term perspectives. Furthermore, the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker announced planned investments of over €500 million in the engine and transmission production in Kaiserslautern, Rüsselsheim and Tichy (Poland) in November 2014.
Further information about official fuel consumption, official specific CO2 emissions and consumption of electric energy can be found in the “guideline about fuel consumption, CO2 Emissions and electric energy consumption of new passenger cars” ('Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen') in German language, which is available free of charge at any point of sales and at DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Helmuth-Hirth-Straße 1, D-73760 Ostfildern.