VDL Bus & Coach has officially opened yesterday, 10th April, a new plant in Roeselare (Belgium), that includes a 27,000m2 production facility, workshop, warehouse, and offices of VDL Bus Roeselare and VDL Bus & Coach Belgium.

The production capacity of VDL Bus Roeselare (Krommebeekpark 2) is about 800 buses per year, 840 to be exact, or 15 per week, but currently the pace is 7 units every seven days, which is an annual projection of 340 units.

A little piece of context, in 2023 VDL bus&coach division’s sales dropped by 33 percent. The main reason mentioned by the OEM is delivery delays due to a shortage of materials for the new generation of VDL Citea, launched in 2022 with an ambitious target: 800 to 1,000 new VDL Citea per year. Yesterday evening VDL’s bid (together with Schmitz Cargobull) for the takeover of Van Hool’s assets has been accepted by trustee.

VDL Bus Roeselare launched yesterday

VDL Bus & Coach says it “chose to share production of this electric city bus with its other production facility in Valkenswaard” in order to maximise the use of available production capacity and increasing flexibility.

The manufacturer claims the newly-opened plant being “the most modern bus factory in Europe“.

At VDL Bus Roeselare, whose foundation stone had been laid on 8 February 2022, the serial production of the new generation Citea will take place.

The opening was attended by Flemish prime minister Jan Jambon and Flemish minister Lydia Peeters (Mobility) as well as customers, suppliers and media.

vdl new plant roeselare

The building “was designed with a strong focus on environmental friendliness, with underfloor heating and extensive ventilation systems ensuring efficient use of energy – VDL explains -. Solar panels have been integrated into the design, making the plant largely self-sufficient in its energy needs. The green roof not only contributes to the aesthetics of the building, but also acts as a natural insulator and contributes to the biodiversity of the environment”.

VDL, a choice for production in Europe

VDL Bus & Coach states the company deliberately chooses to build its buses in Europe. “We have a reliable network of production facilities, close to customers, with our own skilled workers who have been loyal to us for years, and with sustainable production methods. Our employees are highly qualified and use state-of-the-art technology to produce the electric buses of today and of the future,” says Rolf-Jan Zweep, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach.

vdl new plant roeselare

In this regards, VDL Bus & Coach stresses the importance of a level playing field with initiatives from other continents. “There has to be fair competition, playing by the same rules,” says Rolf-Jan Zweep.

Alain Doucet, managing director VDL Bus Roeselare, also stresses the importance of investing in jobs: “We know that technically-skilled people are of paramount importance for the high-end manufacturing industry. It is crucial that we also continue to invest in lifelong learning as bus builders to adapt the skills of our employees to the changing needs of the economy. However, we should not assume this happens automatically: it requires a great effort from both employer and employee.”

vdl new plant roeselare

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