VW California – at home everywhere

Published on 13th July 2023 at 12:51

The 200,000th Volkswagen California left the production line in Hanover-Limmer 
this week. Easily identifiable, this successful camper van, the California, first went on 
sale in 1988 and has been a symbol for freedom, discovery and adventure ever since. 
Last year, a record 21,600 California 6.1 vehicles were delivered to customers, an 
increase of nearly 15% per cent compared to the pre-coronavirus year 2019. And 
2023 is on course to see more California’s built than ever before. 
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) and Volkswagen Group Services 
celebrated the anniversary with 600 employees at the production plant in Hanover- 
Limmer. The 200,000th vehicle is an “all bells and whistles” California 6.1 Ocean 
(2.0 l TDI, 150 kW) with 4MOTION all-wheel drive and 7-speed DSG and featuring a 
two-tone paint finish in Reflex Silver / Fortana Red, kitchen and cupboard unit, plus 
an electric pop-up roof with red bellows. 
“The California has been a real success story for 35 years,” says Josef Baumert, 
Member of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Brand Board of Management 
responsible for Production and Logistics. "200,000 vehicles are also 200,000 
customers who are discovering the world with a California ‘Made in Hanover’. This 
outstanding success is due in particular to the employees who build what is surely 
the most successful camper van in the world every day with their know-how and 
passion at the main plant in Stöcken and in camper van production.” 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles camper van secures jobs 
In summer 2024, the successor to the California 6.1 will be built in Hanover and 
manufactured according to the same principle as the current model: the base vehicle 
is built at the main plant in Hanover-Stöcken, where it receives the necessary cut- 
outs for the roof, windows and connections. It is then converted into a camper van 
according to customer wishes by experts in the California production department 
located eight kilometres away on a site operated by Volkswagen Group Services. 
From 20 to 150 vehicles: constant increase in productivity 
The VW California was launched in 1988, initially based on the T3 (22,000 vehicles). 
Until 2004, the camper van was built by conversion company Westfalia (a further 
around 39,000 vehicles based on the T4). With the switch to the fifth-generation 
Transporter, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles started to produce the camper in- 
Camper production was established on an area of 7,500 square metres in the Limmer 
district of Hanover. Initially, around 20 vehicles were built every day by 35 
production employees. Productivity steadily increased over the years, with around 
15,150 California vehicles built in 2017. Construction of the 100,000th California in 
Limmer was celebrated the following year. Today, just five years later, up to 150 
Californias are built every day by 600 employees in three shifts. 

Hartmut Rickel, Spokesman of the Management Board of Volkswagen Group 
Services, says: “Production of the California in Limmer has developed very 
impressively – as the figures show: at the start of production in 2004, 2,104 vehicles 
left the line. This year, the Volkswagen Group Services team is planning to produce 
31,000 units. This increase and the further development of the Hanover site into a 
future-oriented production facility make us extremely proud. On behalf of the 
Management Board, I would like to thank our employees at the location for this 
success. Without them, this increase would not have been possible.” 
Commenting on the milestone, Kim Kilduff, Head of Sales and Marketing at 
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland, said: “The California is a vehicle that 
transcends everyday motoring. It’s about having the freedom to choose where you 
want to go with no restrictions and the prospect of new adventures every day. When 
you think of camper vans, the California is the go-to vehicle for most people. The fact 
that production has ramped up so dramatically in recent years is testament to the 
enduring success of this iconic vehicle.”