MAKING PLANT TOURS ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE
With over 590,000 employees worldwide, the Volkswagen Group produces nearly 41,000 vehicles each and every day. It has production plants around the world, including four in South Africa. Its Uitenhage factory wanted to make it easier for visitors of various ages and mobility levels to tour the plant and get a close-up view of its globally-renowned manufacturing processes.
The need for a VW‑worthy vehicle
VW has worked hard to build a powerful global brand image over the years and protects it vehemently. Even when it comes to its factory tour vehicles. As a result, the vehicle had to be clean, comfortable and quiet.
The vehicle also needed enough power to shuttle visitors to VW’s nearby AutoPavilion, a heritage center that pays tribute to Volkswagen’s history in South Africa. The AutoPavilion boasts a wealth of car collections, prototypes, interactive exhibits and more.
Some creative engineering…
Two Volkswagen Motorsport employees were tasked with coming up with the perfect solution, which they baptized the FactoryTour vehicle. They built the shuttle cars themselves, using repurposed and unused parts from the factory. The paint, nuts and bolts, and part of the interior trim all came from leftover rally cars. The chassis was made from old tire racks. The side panels and doors were remolded from scrapped parts. German-inspired ingenuity at its best!
Finding the right vehicle to drive the shuttle
The team then approached Leading Logistics Planning, a successful Motrec dealer with offices in Durban and Johannesburg, for help in finding the right vehicle to power the shuttle. LLP took the time to understand their needs and proposed the Motrec MT-280. The VW team liked what they saw. They also liked that it was built in Canada and backed by global support.
The resulting FactoryTour vehicle accommodates 21 passengers, with each car seating seven people in a three-row configuration. The Motrec MT-280 provides plenty of power to drive an entire day’s worth of tours.
Comfortable and safe VW tours für alle
Since rolling out its FactoryTour vehicle, Volkswagen South Africa has taken countless visitors on tour. It says the vehicle is quiet and emits zero emissions, thanks to its rugged and reliable Motrec electric tow motor. The vehicle’s smooth steering and responsive braking make the ride enjoyable for visitors and employees alike.