Back in August, Audi stopped production of the R8 at its main Neckarsulm site and moved it to the new Böllinger Höfe site in Heilbronn, restarting production just three weeks later. The new assembly line brings together various workshops that had been scattered about the Neckarsulm complex under one roof, and will surely make production of the next-generation R8 that much smoother.
The Böllinger Höfe facility is about a quarter the size of the main Neckarsulm plant, and will also house a small-scale production line – similar, we gather, to what Audi subsidiary Lamborghini recently built in Sant'Agata Bolognese – and a massive, state-of-the-art logistics center with capable of handling 4,500 containers each day.
The expansion is part of a major infrastructure campaign that will see Audi invest some $28 billion worldwide through 2018, about half of which will be invested in German facilities – including over $800 million each year at Neckasulm. Last month, Audi Sport opened its new headquarters in Neuburg.
Audi extends Neckarsulm site
- New R8 production and logistics center inaugurated
- Small-scale production competence reinforced
- Audi Board Member for Production Dr. Hubert Waltl: "Extension important element for the future of the Neckarsulm site"
AUDI AG inaugurated the Audi Böllinger Höfe in Heilbronn today – an important step in the future and growth strategy of the Neckarsulm site. A state-of-the-art logistics center and production of the Audi R8 are already up and running in the Böllinger Höfe industrial park – situated around six kilometers from the main plant in Neckarsulm.
"Our domestic sites are our backbone, and the investment in the Audi Böllinger Höfe is a significant milestone for the Neckarsulm site," explains Dr. Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production at AUDI AG. Through 2018 the company will be investing more than €22 billion worldwide. About half of the Audi investment will go to the German sites, with on average more than €650 million per year invested in the Neckarsulm site. "This extension will substantially relieve the pressure on the plant, as the growing range of models and production complexity increasingly require more space," Waltl adds. With six models and 20 derivatives, Neckarsulm is one of the plants with the greatest product diversity and complexity in the entire Volkswagen Group. The Audi Böllinger Höfe site covers 23 hectares, around a quarter of the total area of the plant in Neckarsulm. Norbert Rank, Chairman of the Works Council in Neckarsulm, comments: "With the commissioning of the Böllinger Höfe we are creating the necessary scope for further optimizing the structures at the Neckarsulm site. And we managed to bring together central areas of quattro GmbH. We are also creating more jobs in our region."
The Audi Böllinger Höfe site will also be home to the new R8 production facility. Various production areas, which were previously accommodated separately at the Neckarsulm plant, have now been brought together under a single roof. In particular, pre-series and series production as well as quality assurance benefit from the rapid, interdisciplinary networking. Hence the Neckarsulm site is also reinforcing its small-scale production competence. The newly created production area can be used even more efficiently and flexibly thanks to technological and ergonomic innovations. R8 production got underway in the Böllinger Höfe on August 25 – just under three weeks after the last Audi R8 came off the production line at the Neckarsulm plant.
Back in March, the new logistics center started operating with around 22,500 storage places. The logistics center is a central point for supplying materials for production. Logistics experts handle around 4,500 containers a day. Goods flows, which were processed in five external stores before the new facility was built, are now being coordinated via a centralized location. The result is further a reduction in shipments, and transfer of truck traffic from the Heilbronn urban area to the industrial park. Another improvement comes in the shape of the GPS tracking of individual shipments between the logistics center and the Neckarsulm plant. The innovative live tracking enables schedules to be adjusted flexibly to the traffic situation and also optimizes routing.
"For the city of Heilbronn the Audi location is the largest industrial development for decades," is how Lord Mayor Harry Mergel underlines the importance of the Audi Böllinger Höfe for the region. Cars are set to be produced in Heilbronn once again after many years, bringing with it secure jobs.
Further photos of the inauguration will be available from Friday October 17, 3:00 p.m. online at www.audi-mediaservices.com
*Fuel consumption of the models named above:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 14.9 – 12.4 (15.8 – 19.0 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 346 – 289 (556.8 – 465.1 g/mi); Efficiency class: G