Its capacity to be flexible and innovative has set the Kassel plant apart for the past six decades. Originally, it was only old gearboxes and engines that were meant to be reconditioned at the new North Hesse location, but Volkswagenwerk AG expanded rapidly during the 1950s and 60s. And – to this day – we still talk about this period as aa Wirtschaftswunder, or “economic miracle“. Beetles and vans were bestsellers not only in Germany and Europe, but also across the world. In a bid to increase the production capacity at the Wolfsburg factory, Volkswagen first moved the engine reconditioning unit to Kassel. The site commenced operations in the summer of 1958 and quickly expanded soon after. Gearbox production was soon incorporated into the first newly built assembly hall and a large-scale pressing facility was eventually added to Hall 2 in 1964.
The pressing facility droned on, as many would put it, into the new millennium, but then it was time for a change. The process known as hot forming hardens steel to make it highly flexible and strong so that less material is required for the same purpose. This is what helps to make the Golf up to 18 kilograms lighter than it would be using steel pressed in the conventional way.