Hubert Aiwanger, Bavarian Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, learned about the transformation of the Schierling site of Webasto on Friday. The automotive supplier’s Chairman of the Management Board, Dr. Holger Engelmann, and location manager Christian Gallner provided an insight into developments to date and future plans for the site. The program also included a tour through the state-of-the-art battery production facility, which has been in operation in Schierling since 2019 and is currently being expanded. In addition, the Webasto representatives exchanged views with the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs on possible support options for the Free State in strengthening the competitiveness of the site in the future.
Since 1986, the Schierling plant has been an important part of the global Webasto Group with headquarters in Stockdorf near Munich. Started as a production facility for sunroofs and panorama roofs, Webasto has invested in manufacturing as well as building up specific know-how, for example in the areas of polycarbonate and lightweight construction, over the past more than three decades. The competencies of the colleagues are in high demand within the company worldwide – and no longer just around the car roof system. “After us entering the electromobility marktet, it quickly became clear that the willingness to change and the enthusiasm for future technologies of our employees in Schierling offer the best conditions for our first battery plant and our global competence center around the new technology,” Engelmann explained.
Since 2018, Webasto has been investing in the development of battery production in Schierling and thus in the future viability of the site with its approximately 430 employees. So far, the company has been producing battery systems for commercial vehicles in the Upper Palatinate. In 2022, further orders for passenger car batteries were received. Capacities will therefore be significantly expanded by 2025. In addition, there will be spending on infrastructure as a whole – with a particular focus on the topic of sustainability.
The expansion of the product portfolio of Webasto with a view to the mobility of the future – more specifically in the areas of electromobility and autonomous driving – has also been supported by the Free State of Bavaria with technology funding since 2021. How the company has used these so far was reported by Webasto development experts during the visit of the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs. “Webasto is a shining example of an innovative automotive competence leader as well as an attractive employer. During today’s visit, I could once again see for myself that in times of transformation in the automotive sector, especially innovations are becoming increasingly important. For this reason, we promote forward-looking technology projects of the companies to support a successful transformation process,” State Minister Aiwanger said.