inside
The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Models and Technology

¡Hola, T-Cross1!

The T-Cross is going into series production. The company’s smallest SUV is rolling off the production line in Pamplona in Spain alongside the Polo. inside paid a visit to the plant and spoke with employees about the new arrival in Volkswagen’s SUV family.

Proud of the second model at their location: David Fuentes, Faustino Diaz, Maite Coscolin, Ruben Garrués, 
Inaki Pérez, Inmaculada M. Falagan, Cristina Aleixandre, Borja Celaya, José Alcala and Jose J. Picallo 
(left to right) welcome the T-Cross to Pamplona at Volkswagen Navarra.

The plant

In the Spanish province of Navarra, outside the walls of the capital city, Pamplona, you’ll find the main Polo plant, which employs around 5,000 staff. The small car has been built here since 1984. 244,127 vehicles rolled off the production line here last year. The T-Cross is going into series production in December 2018. It is the first time ever that two different models are being produced at the plant. Volkswagen is investing around €1 billion in the production of the two models in Navarra between now and 2019. Emilio Sáenz is the plant manager.

Inmaculada M. Falagan (48)

“I’ve been working at Volkswagen for 28 years. I’ve spent that whole time installing doors on the assembly line. Our work has become much more ergonomic over the years. Not to mention that the doors are lighter today, and the quality of the trim has also improved. I really enjoy my work. That’s because I know how important doors are to a car, and how much stress they’re subjected to. People here are very excited about the T-Cross. We’ve waited so long for a second model. It will be a challenge, but that just serves as even greater inspiration. We have proven with the Polo that this location is a reliable choice.”

Inmaculada is a door specialist and she can’t wait for the T-Cross to go into series production.

David Fuentes (31)

“Color is a key purchasing criterion in cars – and it’s my responsibility. I’ve been at the company since 2011. Since then, I’ve been working in the paint shop, where I program the robots that apply the paint. Things never stop here. We paint up to 1,500 car bodies each day. We will be able to paint the T-Cross in up to 13 different colors. I see the T-Cross as a car for a very broad customer class. Young or old, single people or small families. I would order it in Dark Petrol, a dark shade of blue, and with an automatic transmission. Once you’ve tried DSG, you won’t want to give it up.”

The king of color: David programs the impressive paint robots.

Cristina and Borja met at the Pamplona plant in 2011. The couple wanted to have their photo taken where the body and the engine are “married.”

Cristina Aleixandre (33)

“I have been working in program planning since 2011. Right now we are just working on the plant’s operation for the coming year. In future, we will be producing roughly the same number of Polo and T-Cross vehicles. Having such an important model here is great for the region. I think the T-Cross is a fantastic vehicle. The design, the size and the variety of features – I was impressed the moment I saw it.”

Borja Celaja (30)

“My first thought was, ‘Wow, what a great car!’ The T-Cross is perfect for Pamplona. We have a lot of experience thanks to the Polo, and a second model is a great honor for everyone here at this location. I work in assembly taking care of the electronics in special vehicles such as prototypes. It makes me very proud to be closely involved with the T-Cross right from the start. It’s a great SUV. Cristina and I are really into sports. There’s more than enough room for her rollerblades and my soccer gear. I know what car we’ll be driving before too long…”

Faustino Diaz (61)

“I work as a supervisor in the body shop. That’s where I’ve been working ever since I joined Volkswagen in 1993. I’m actually a shift leader, but in the busy introduction phase I’m working as a specialist in special vehicles. It’s a first for me to have had two vehicles introduced within such a short period of time, with the Polo last year and now the T-Cross. The T-Cross is my last project before retirement so I want to make sure it goes as well as possible. That’s a huge motivation for me. My wife and I have decided to buy a white T-Cross soon. At the moment I drive a Polo. For me, driving a car made in the region – and a fine-looking one at that – is a matter of pride.”

Great motivation: the introduction of the T-Cross is Faustino’s last project before retirement.

Inaki Pérez de Urabain (32)

“I’m a trained maintenance technician and I work in the press shop. My job is to take the pressed parts from one tool to the next. The parts can weigh up to 20 kilos. But by using suction cups, we can do that quickly, safely, and ergonomically. I’ve been at Volkswagen for ten years now. I’m from this area and I always wanted to work here. The T-Cross ensures a high workload at the plant, and everyone’s happy when they know there’s plenty of work. What I noticed immediately was that the T-Cross’ back seat is moveable. That’s really cool and very handy because that means you can get even more into the trunk.”

Suction cups make the work easier: Inaki ensures that everything runs smoothly in the press shop.

José Alcala (33)

“I work in final assembly re-checking individual cars, acting on information by Quality Assurance. Nothing gets past us! I also speak with colleagues on the assembly line to identify where we can improve. By the time of the market launch in May next year we want to be delivering perfect vehicles. I like the way you sit higher in the T-Cross and have a good view over everything. I’m a trained car mechanic and I worked in motorsports for a while. My dream car would be an orange T-Cross with plenty of horsepower.”

Quality check: José inspects the clearance.

Maite Coscolin (37)

“I make sure the T-Cross is as comfortable as possible for our customers. On the assembly line, I’m responsible for installing the seats. I studied Art History so naturally the striking lines of the T-Cross caught my eye straight away. It has a unique look, and an amazing design. In my free time I love taking photos and spending time in nature. As a compact SUV with plenty of space for my equipment – it’s like the T-Cross was made for that.”

Making sure it’s comfortable: Maite installs the seats.

Chest out and a broad smile: Ruben brought the T-Cross onto the production line; Picallo prepares the new SUV for press events.

Ruben Garrués (43)

“My job is to make sure that we have a functioning assembly line set up by the time production is scheduled to start, particularly with new models. Having worked at the plant for more than 20  years, I’ve got plenty of exper­ience when it comes to the continuous optimization of our manufacturing processes. What I love most about the T-Cross is the front. The SUV is highly recognizable from the honeycomb on the radiator grill.”

José J. Picallo (41)

“The T-Cross looks very robust. And the rear looks particularly good. I’ve been working at Volkswagen since 1998, in assembly the whole time. I currently prepare press vehicles. That’s a lot of fun. I’ve also had a chance to test drive our new model. It’s agile and sits well on the road. I would buy the T-Cross, no question about it. Day in, day out I see the high-quality of vehicles we produce here in Pamplona.”

The T-Cross

The T-Cross is Volkswagen’s smallest SUV. It is based on the Polo platform, and is 4.11 meters long and 1.56 meters high. That makes the SUV 54 centimeters longer and eleven centimeters higher than the Polo. In addition to Spain, the T-Cross is also built in the Anting plant near Shanghai, China. For the South American market, the SUV will roll off the production line in the Curitiba plant in Brazil, around 420 kilometers southwest of São Paulo.