Lower costs, higher quality. It's a win-win situation.
About a week ago, SEAT announced it is adding another model on the assembly lines of its Martorell factory in Spain. It wasn’t a model from the local automaker, but Audi’s new A1, which joined the Ibiza hatchback and Arona crossover. Now, SEAT is actually starting to build its own Tarraco, but, again, it’s not just a regular production. The seven-seat SUV won’t be manufactured at SEAT’s home plant, but instead will be assembled at Volkswagen’s main site in Wolfsburg.
This is the first time in the last nearly two decades that such a transfer is happening. SEAT says that “synergy effects” are the main driving force behind the decision to move the Tarraco’s production to Germany, where it will be built alongside with the Tiguan and Touran, both also based on the modular MQB platform that underpins the Tarraco.
'The Tarraco was completely designed and developed in Spain by SEAT,' Matthias Rabe, Vice-President for R&D at SEAT, commented. 'Together with a really enthusiastic team at the Wolfsburg factory the vehicle was then prepared for series production, and this in a very short time. That strengthens the already close ties between SEAT and Volkswagen even more.'
The last time Volkswagen assembled a model for another brand from the VAG portfolio was in 1998, when the Arosa supermini was rolling off the production lines. From 1974 to 1978, Volkswagen also produced the Audi 50, followed by the Audi 80 and Audi 100 from 1994 to 1998 and 1993 to 1997 respectively.
'A competent, globally leading production network across the Group is one of the biggest levers for efficiency enhancement. The SEAT Tarraco is an example of the way more plants within the Group-wide production network will produce vehicles for several Group brands at the same time in the future,' added Andreas Tostmann, Volkswagen Board Member for Production.
Gallery: SEAT Tarraco production
For the first time in about 20 years, Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant is producing a model of another Group brand: the SEAT Tarraco. The Spanish SUV, which was designed and developed in Barcelona, exploits the synergy effects of the MQB production platform. In Wolfsburg, the Spanish model will roll off the production line together with the Volkswagen models Tiguan and Touran.
The step towards multi-brand production will boost the capacity deployment of Volkswagen’s main plant. The production of the Tarraco in Wolfsburg is part of the Pact for the Future concluded by the company and the Works Council at the end of 2016. The pact is a far-reaching timetable for improving the economic viability of the Volkswagen brand and placing the company on a firm footing for the future.
SEAT Vice-President for Research & Development Dr. Matthias Rabe says: “The Tarraco was completely designed and developed in Spain by SEAT. Together with a really enthusiastic team at the Wolfsburg factory the vehicle was then prepared for series production, and this in a very short time. That strengthens the already close ties between SEAT and Volkswagen even more.”
SEAT Vice-President for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer explained: “The SEAT Tarraco shows the collaboration among the Volkswagen Group brands in order to generate synergies. This new SUV enables us to enter a new segment, gain sales volumes, boost our brand image and increase our capacity to generate margins.”
Volkswagen Board Member for Production Dr. Andreas Tostmann stated: “A competent, globally leading production network across the Group is one of the biggest levers for efficiency enhancement. The SEAT Tarraco is an example of the way more plants within the Group-wide production network will produce vehicles for several Group brands at the same time in the future.”
This is the fifth time that Volkswagen’s main plant in Wolfsburg has produced a model for another Group brand. A SEAT model, the Arosa, already rolled off the production line in Wolfsburg from the end of 1996 until 1998. In addition, the workforce at Wolfsburg produced the Audi 50 from 1974 to 1978, the Audi 80 from 1994 to 1998 and the Audi 100 from 1993 to 1997. The Audi 50 was largely identical to the Polo, which was assembled in Wolfsburg from 1975 and is now produced at the Pamplona plant in Spain. The Audi 50 and the Polo were the first German small cars with transverse engines and front-wheel drive.
With its new flagship, the Tarraco, SEAT is rounding off its SUV family, which also includes the Ateca and Arona.