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Boss at Work

Series Director Andreas Krüger worked a shift at the Pamplona plant.

Andreas Krüger, Head of the Small (G1) series, spent a day working on the Polo production line at the Pamplona plant.

By working on the production line, Krüger was making good on a promise he had made several weeks earlier in an inside interview. The 50-year-old’s task was to install the Volkswagen emblem in the trunk lid of the new Polo.

“At the beginning of the shift, I thought, I will never manage it,” reports Krüger with a laugh. “It took about ten cycles for me to figure out the hand movements.” Spanish colleagues were pleased to welcome the manager responsible for the Polo series.

“It was a great experience,” said forewoman Maite Urtiaga enthusiastically on behalf of her team. “It was a lot of fun to work with Mr. Krüger.”

Mr. Krüger, where did the idea come from to work a shift at the Pamplona plant?

When I became the G1 series director in the fall, I received many congratulations – including from the plant in Pamplona, where I still have many former colleagues. During my time as division project manager, I was often in Spain to oversee the launch of the Polo A05. On my first visit to Spain in my new role as series director, I had the idea of working a shift there.

 

In December, I turned my words into deeds. Hand on heart: were you a bit nervous before your first shift?

(He laughs) A bit? I was more than a bit nervous.

What task were you assigned to?

I was placed in the part of the production line where the Volkswagen emblem is attached to the trunk lid of the Polo. Later on, I also installed the brackets for the gas pressure springs. I would say that I am not completely useless with my hands. At the beginning of the shift, I thought, I will never manage it. Thankfully, the colleague who was working alongside me was there to guide me at first. It took about ten cycles for me to somewhat figure out the hand movements.

Did the cars you worked on pass the final quality inspection?

I didn’t hear anything to the contrary, at least. With more than 400 Polos per shift, you have to stay focused. At the end of the day, I looked back on all I had done – and fell into bed, exhausted. I have a lot of respect for the employees who do this every day.

» I think it’s an excellent idea to experience for yourself what it means to work on the production line for eight hours. When you work an entire shift, you understand much more clearly what it really means to have to perform the assigned work within a certain cycle time. «

Maite Urtiaga

» Mr. Krüger is a very friendly colleague who always has a smile on his face. Rather than simply wading in cluelessly, he took the time to ask exactly what he had to do and let us give him tips.«

Araceli Buldón

Speaking of employees: How were you received? Were there any reservations?

No, absolutely not. I got the impression that the employees were happy that I had shown interest in their work. Many used the opportunity to ask me questions about the new Polo. For example, one colleague wanted to know why the Polo is not available in green. I will pass on her comments to our designers.

What have you learned from your visit to Pamplona?

I came away with a lot of motivation for 2018. The visit showed me once again how important the work of all our employees is. I am unbelievably proud to be part of the Volkswagen family.