The Dutch contract car manufacturer VDL Nedcar has finally disclosed who is the first new client after the BMW Group will have left Born (south of the Netherlands), where Mini’s were assembled, in 2024. And the first ‘new’ client is… BMW.
VDL Nedcar struck a deal with BMW to assemble 125 000 battery packs between 2024 and 2035. VDL CEO Willem van der Leegte sees this as “a flying start” of VDL’s new Mobility Innovation Centre, a new branch of VDL Nedcar where ‘sustainable mobility solutions’ are developed.
Meanwhile, we still don’t know who the new client is, Nedcar has signed a new declaration of intent with to assemble/build cars again in Born from 2026 on.
Only a start
The new battery production lines (there are two of them) should be production-ready within the year. The BMW order only represents one-tenth of the total capacity, so VDL is looking for several other car and bus manufacturers to let it produce battery packs for them.
On the other hand, the company is still looking for new clients it can assemble entire cars or other vehicles for. The new deal with BMW doesn’t solve the problem of the huge layoffs the company will face when the Mini assembly comes to a halt in March 2024.
Already in November of this year, the departure of 800 temporary workers and 1 000 employees is scheduled. What will happen with the somewhat 2000 other employees is still a mystery. If no other (and bigger) deals are concluded by then, they will also have to leave. The new battery assembly for BMW involves several tens of new jobs, but certainly not hundreds.