When the Audi Q3 compact CUV hits the streets in 2011, its assembly will be handled by the workers at VW's Spanish division, SEAT. In preparation for the crossover's arrival SEAT is building an all-new body shop at its Martorell factory. Like other modern body shops, the 322,000 square-foot facility will be heavily automated with over 300 robots handling most of the welding and stamp manipulation.
A ceremony was held at the site this week to lay the cornerstone for the new building, and as is typical for these types of events, all the usual politicians and dignitaries turned out for their photo op. The €300 million euro factory is the largest investment made by SEAT in 15 years, and signals that the Volkswagen group tends to keep it around for a while. An estimated 1,500 people will be employed building the Q3 when it launches in two years.
LAYING OF FOUNDATION STONE TOGETHER WITH PRESIDENT OF CATALAN GOVERNMENT
starts construction on Audi Q3 Workshop to produce it in 2011
Today SEAT held the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new bodywork workshop at the Martorell plant for assembly of the new Audi Q3 from 2011 onwards. The shed, ready to house the production facilities in February 2010, will be equipped with almost 300 robots, making it one of the most modern workshop of its kind in the world.
The event was presided over by José Montilla, President of the Catalan government (Generalitat), and was also attended by Josep Huguet, councillor of Innovation, Universities and Business of the Catalan Government; Mar Serna, councillor of Labour of the Catalan Government as well as the mayors of the municipalities where the company's production facilities are located, together with numerous representatives of the spheres of business and trade unions. Also present were Frank Dreves, Vice-President for Production at Audi AG, and Erich Schmitt, President of SEAT, as well as other members of the Executive Committee.
Erich Schmitt highlighted the importance of this new workshop for the future of the company. "These facilities represent the biggest investment (300 million euros) ever made in SEAT over the past fifteen years. At these Martorell facilities we shall be producing the Q3 for Audi with Premium quality. That is good news for the Spanish automobile industry and especially for Catalonia."
Construction work on Workshop 6 comes two months after production of this model was awarded to the Martorell plant by the Volkswagen Group. In the production of this vehicle will work 1,500 employees as well as generate an important knock-on effect in the car component industry.
The Workshop in figures
Total surface area: 30,000 square metres (4 football fields)
Surface area of bodywork facilities: 23,000 square metres
Number of robots: nearly 300
Maxim height: 14 metres
Number of skylights in the roof: 72 (1,152 square metres). Admitting natural light and reducing lighting consumption by 250 megawatt hours per year.