Volkswagen AG has begun production of the new Golf cabriolet at a former Karmann plant in Osnabrueck, Germany.
The plant, which VW bought last year, may also be used as an overflow facility for manufacturing the Porsche brand Boxster and Cayman models going forward, VW said.
Osnabrueck is now the sixth production facility for VW in the German state of Lower Saxony. The state holds a 20 percent stake in the automaker.
VW has invested approximately 300 million euros ($424 million) in the facility, which covers the entire automotive process chain from vehicle development through tooling to production and will have an annual capacity of around 100,000 vehicles.
''The team in Osnabrueck has successfully managed the Golf cabriolet start-up within the space of a year. Osnabrueck has made a masterful debut,'' VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement on Thursday.
The plant currently employs around 1,250 workers building the Golf convertible, but VW say that this will rise to 1,800 by the end of the year.
VW took over Karmann's production plant in Osnabrück after the coachbuilder and convertible rooftop specialist filed for bankruptcy protection in April last year when a trend among automakers to reduce outsourcing the assembly of entire models saw new orders dry up.
The company is most famous for building the VW Beetle-based coupe dubbed the Karmann Ghia. The company was also responsible for developing the much-copied retractable hardtop roof first introduced with the Mercedes-Benz SLK. It went into bankruptcy after delivering its last Mercedes CLK in June 2010.
Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive, which builds the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, purchased Karmann's European roof business.