Today, Volkswagen is celebrating. The German marque has announced the completion of its 100,000th California camper van at its Hannover-Limmer plant. To date, more than 160,000 examples of the vehicle have rolled off the production line since its debut nearly 30 years ago – but this 100,000 milestone is a big one for VW. It makes the California one of the best-selling, most successful mobile home in its class.
The van in question is a California Ocean trim – similar to the one we camped in in California – and comes complete with a 2.0-liter TSI engine producing 201 horsepower (150 kilowatts) paired to a seven-speed DSG gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive. The exterior is finished in a two-tone Candy White/Starlight Blue Metallic finish, with a matching dark blue pop-up roof, sides, and awning. There’s even a full kitchen unit, with wood-look flooring.
"We could hardly write or continue this story of a legend's success in any better way: because 100,000 vehicles also mean 100,000 customers living their dream of independence, travel and enjoyment with the California," said Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. "The California is an icon among camping and leisure vehicles, the most popular and best-selling mobile home of its kind."
VW’s Hannover plant where the California is built stretches to nearly 14,000 square feet (13,000 square meters), and employs a workforce of around 300 people working in three shifts. The standard T6 camper vans come to Limmer by truck, and are hand-fitted with California customization features, both inside and out – including the beloved pop-up roof.
Buyers in Europe can get their hands on the California for as little as €43,221 ($50,360). Unfortunately, though it shares the same name with the Golden State, it isn’t available for purchase in the U.S. Buyers will have to wait for the electric I.D. Buzz, which should hit the market sometime in 2022.
Gallery: VW California 100,000th Example
The milestone 100,000th vehicle that has now been produced in Limmer is a California "Ocean" (2.0 TSI, 150 kW) with 4MOTION, 7-speed DSG, two-tone 'Candy White/Starlight Blue Metallic' paintwork with matching dark blue pop-up roof sides and awning, cycle rack, navigation system, kitchen units, wood-look flooring and much more.
Dr Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said at the celebratory event: "We could hardly write or continue this story of a legend's success in any better way: because 100,000 vehicles also mean 100,000 customers living their dream of independence, travel and enjoyment with the California. The California is an icon among camping and leisure vehicles, the most popular and best-selling mobile home of its kind."
Addressing the workforce, Scholz said: "This success is first and foremost your success. For with your passion and expertise you not only create automotive value 'Made in Hannover' every day, but each of you has also contributed and continues to contribute to the fact that this vehicle has achieved cult status for multiple generations and will remain in the future a mobile home with built-in holiday joy."
Bertina Murkovic, Chair of the Works Council: "Hannover is and remains the home of the Bulli. And that includes the California, a very special and unique vehicle that you, dear colleagues, build using your skill and know-how, thus making you too a part of this story of success. The decision to make the California in Limmer has been proven to be right. From initially 60 employees here on the Limmer site, there is now a workforce of around 300. My thanks go to the entire team and the main Hannover site, who with their great commitment have together made the 'Cali' a cult vehicle!"
Volker Eissele, Head of Customized Solution at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: "We are continually enhancing our best seller, fine-tuning its design and perfecting its engineering. As a result, the California offers through its diverse array of practical functions unlimited scope for travelling and unparalleled flexibility in everyday life."
This home on four wheels began its story of success 30 years ago. The
California was developed jointly with 'Westfalia'. It was based on the third
generation of the Transporter and initially produced in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Since 2004, the California has been developed and made by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles exclusively at the Hannover-Limmer plant. The California production facility covers approximately 13,000 square metres.
A workforce of around 300 is employed there, operating in three shifts. The base vehicles come to Limmer on trucks from the main Hannover-Stöcken plant. The bodies are prepared for the next stage of production
and thus have the necessary cut-out for the pop-up roof. Working by hand, experts fit out the California (prices from €43,221 incl. VAT) to customer specifications. Just recently, for being the most popular compact camper van, the California was awarded the title "Mobile Home of the
Year 2018". Over 30 years, since the California was launched, more than 160,000 units have been produced in total, 100,000 of them in Hannover-Limmer.