Closely linked for 20 years: in early autumn 2003, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented the third generation of the Volkswagen Caddy at the RAI Commercial Vehicle Show in Amsterdam. Shortly afterwards, production started in Poznań (Poland) on 12 November – thus launching a success story for the plant and the model. In the meantime, more than 2.6 million units of the high-roof van have rolled off the assembly line at the plant in western Poland.
When Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles started vehicle production in Poznań in 1993, nobody could have guessed that the location would become the largest automotive plant in Poland, the largest employer in the region and the only production plant for the Caddy. In the first few years, the plant in Antoninek near Poznań mainly assembled vehicles from different Group brands. However, Volkswagen systematically expanded the location so that vehicle production started in addition to assembly.
Poznań began the most important chapter in the history of the plant with the premiere of the Caddy: Volkswagen planned the production of the third Caddy generation exclusively for the Polish site. At 8:06 pm on 12 November 1993, the first Caddy “Made in Poland” rolled off the production line in the expanded and modernised plant. The proud lettering on the side of the vehicle read: „Jestem z Poznania!“ (“I’m from Poznań!”).
“The year 2003 was a breakthrough for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Poznań. Our plant and the entire workforce demonstrated their willingness to take over the production of one of the most important models of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand,” emphasises Stefanie Hegels, Chair of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Poznań. “With the production of the third to fifth generations, this development has accelerated significantly, the plant has been continuously expanded and automated, and the workforce has grown.”
In 20 years, the plant has produced more than 2.6 million Caddy vehicles. In 2020, production of the current fifth generation began for 71 markets worldwide. In addition to the standard version in various body variants, the lengthened Caddy Maxi version and the Camper Caddy California are also produced in Poznań. The Caddy can be ordered with up to seven engine variants and a range of up to 69 body colours.
The history of the Volkswagen Caddy dates back to 1979, when a pickup based on the Volkswagen Golf with the name Rabbit Pickup was developed for the North American market. Production began in Europe in 1983 – and the Caddy was officially born. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented the second-generation Caddy based on the Volkswagen Polo in 1995. This was followed by the third generation in 2003. Its history has been closely linked to Poznań since then – a relationship that has been very successful for 20 years.