VW will build Crafter van in Poland after ending Daimler tie-up, report says

VW may build the Crafter, shown, in Poland.
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MUNICH -- Volkswagen will build its Crafter van in Poland after ending a partnership with Daimler, a German newspaper reported.

Currently, Daimler builds the Crafter alongside the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at its factories in Dusseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, Germany.

VW will not renew the contract with Daimler when it runs out mid-2016, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in a report today.

The transfer of Crafter production to VW's plant in Poznan, Poland, would require approval from VW's supervisory board, a high hurdle since it is dominated by representatives of the company's German work force which has tended to resist attempts by management to move production abroad.

VW's factory in Hanover, Germany, had been considered for Crafter production but costs are lower in Poland.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said the supervisory board had yet to take a formal decision but was likely to give the green light before the company's annual results press conference on March 13.

A Volkswagen spokesman said no decision had been taken on where to produce the van and "the evaluation process continues."

VW builds the Caddy and T5 smaller vans in Poznan. The automaker is considering investing 500 million euros ($677 million) to add annual capacity for 70,000 Crafters, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

New platform

Volkswagen is developing a new platform for the Crafter and its T line of vans, Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe, reported Jan. 27.

The platform has been dubbed MNB (Modulare Nutzfahrzeugbaukasten - modular commercial vehicle kit), and it will undepin 29 derivatives in the T and Crafter product lines, including front-, rear- and all-wheel drive vehicles, the paper said quoting VW sources.

The new platform will reduce weight and manufacturing costs.

Reuters contributed to this report

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