Thursday, May 5, 2011

Volkswagen Day

we had a great day in Wolfsburg at the VW World Headquarters. The day started with a tour of the manufacturing facility - we have no photos of that because no cameras were allowed. It was a great tour and we learned many things about VW and modern production techniques, but we also learned the answer to the best trivia question on the trip so far....

what is the product that is made most at the VW Wolfsburg facility????

Golf ....... NO!
Passat...... NO!
Tiquan ........ NO!
Sausage ...........................YES!

They make their own sausage for the all the dining facilities and they make way more sausages then cars! And we got to eat some of those sausages when we had lunch in the employee cafeteria!

Our day continued when we went to the Autostadt (Auto City) which is a world's fair like campus of buildings and walk-ways that celebrate cars and specifically the 8 brands that make up VW. Those brands are VW, VW Trucks, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley, Lamborgini, and Belgotti. Each brand has its own building with a history and some "show off" cars. The 1200 HP, goes 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, silver-clad Belgotti was the hit of the students. (picture to left)

We also got to see what I call the "car vending machines" (two towers behind me in photo below) which are two towers where cars are stored and then plucked off their spot by a giant device that runs up the middle of the tower, thus making it like a giant vending machine. Many Germans go to this facility to pick up the cars they ordered at the dealer. The car delivery thus becomes an event and as a Marketing Prof. I had to smile at all the cross-marketing, merchandising, and customer loyalty reinforcement that was going on at the Autostadt!

We finished the day with a train ride to Berlin where we got to see the great Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) that was built a few years ago and is a wonder of functionality and form!

Tomorrow we are off to Deutsche Bank for a 1/2 day program.

The photo below is of the inside of the car vending machines. The post up the middle is where the "plucking" device runs up and down. Really quite a sight!

Some of the group in a typically sized German Automobile!

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