Volkswagen celebrates 200,000th Hannover-made California campervan

It’s an icon. One of those models that has almost become like the Biro has to pens or the Hoover has to vacuum cleaners. The Volkswagen California has been the campervan of the last 20 years. And that claim can be backed up by the fact that the 200,000th model of this icon recently rolled off the production line at VW’s Hannover-Limmer facility.

“The California has been a real success story for 35 years,” said Josef Baumert, member of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand board of management responsible for production and logistics.

“200,000 vehicles are also 200,000 customers who are discovering the world with a California ‘Made in Hanover’. This outstanding success is due in particular to the employees who build what is surely the most successful camper van in the world every day with their know-how and passion at the main plant in Stöcken and in camper van production.”

The California was not always made in Hannover. From 1988 up until 2004, the model was produced by conversion company Westfalia based on the T3. Around 22,000 of these vehicles were produced before Volkswagen decided to bring the production in house. Camper production was established on an area of 7,500 square metres in the Limmer district of Hanover. Initially, around 20 vehicles were built every day by 35 production employees. Productivity steadily increased over the years, with around 15,150 California vehicles built in 2017. Construction of the 100,000th California in Limmer was celebrated the following year. Today, just five years later, the total has already reached 200,000 vehicles. Up to 150 vehicles are built every day by 600 employees in three shifts.

Hartmut Rickel, spokesman of the management board of Volkswagen Group Services, said: “Production of the California in Limmer has developed very impressively – as the figures show: at the start of production in 2004, 2,104 vehicles left the line. This year, the Volkswagen Group Services team is planning to produce 31,000 units. This increase and the further development of the Hanover site into a future-oriented production facility make us extremely proud. On behalf of the Management Board, I would like to thank our employees at the location for this success. Without them, this increase would not have been possible.”

The successor to the California 6.1 will also come from Hanover from 2024 and will be manufactured according to the same principle as the current model: the base vehicle is manufactured at the main plant in Hanover-Stöcken, where it receives the necessary cut-outs for the roof, windows and connections, for example. It is then converted into a camper van according to customer wishes by experts in the California production department located eight kilometres away; this production site is operated by Volkswagen Group Services.