It looks as if the Vauxhall van plant in Bedfordshire will continue to operate saving thousands of jobs. Renault and Opel/Vauxhall have announced that they will continue their cooperation in the Light Commercial Vehicles segment, including their collaboration on the next generation of the highly successful Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic models.
The two companies started their cooperation in 1996 with the first generation of the Renault Master & Opel/Vauxhall Movano Van program. Earlier this year, the new generation of these products was successfully launched with an extended model range including rear wheel drive versions and a number of factory produced specially converted vehicles.
The renewed agreement covers the next generation of the Opel Vivaro and Renault Trafic models. While the sister models are being jointly developed, they are independently marketed and sold through the respective brand's distribution channels.
There are many aspects of the project to discuss and agree. No further details regarding the product specification, investments or business arrangements will therefore be communicated at this point in time.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Ludwigsfelde has every reason to celebrate: Recently, following 45 years of production, the one millionth commercial vehicle rolled off its assembly line. The milestone vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
More than 2,000 employees, political officials, and businesspeople took part in the ceremony at the plant and witnessed the official handover of the milestone vehicle to the Berlin Landesverkehrswacht traffic safety organisation. And there's something extra special about this milestone: That's because the one millionth commercial vehicle from Ludwigsfelde is equipped with the one millionth engine produced at the nearby Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin.
'Our plant has had a very eventful history and things have not always been easy,' said Michael Humpert, Plant Manager and Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Ludwigsfeld GmbH. 'That's why we are particularly happy that we can jointly celebrate this production milestone today. I would therefore like to thank our employees for their dedication.'
A brief film clip was shown during the ceremony enabling the guests to relive the plant's 45-year history. In his address, Mayor Frank Gerhard of Ludwigsfelde congratulated the plant and highlighted the facility's great importance for the region.
Further speakers were Dr. Heinrich Weiss, Head of Production at Mercedes-Benz Vans and a former manager of the plant, and Lothar Heinzmann, a former director of the IFA combine. Seven vehicles were exhibited during the celebration as representatives of all the various model series that have been produced in Ludwigsfelde to date.