Home Latest News 200,000th VW California Rolls Off Production Line

200,000th VW California Rolls Off Production Line


The 200,000th Volkswagen California left the production line in Hanover-Limmer this month. The world’s most successful camper van, the iconic California, first went on sale in 1988 and has been a symbol for freedom, discovery and adventure ever since.
Last year, a record 21,600 California 6.1 vehicles were delivered to customers, an increase of nearly 15% per cent compared to the pre-coronavirus year 2019. And 2023 is on course to see more Californias built than ever before.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) and Volkswagen Group Services celebrated the anniversary with 600 employees at the production plant in Hanover-Limmer. The 200,000th vehicle is an “all bells and whistles” California 6.1 Ocean (2.0 l TDI, 150 kW) with 4MOTION all-wheel drive and 7-speed DSG and featuring a two-tone paint finish in Reflex Silver / Fortana Red, kitchen and cupboard unit, plus an electric pop-up roof with red bellows.

In summer 2024, the successor to the California 6.1 will be built in Hanover and manufactured according to the same principle as the current model: the base vehicle is built at the main plant in Hanover-Stöcken, where it receives the necessary cut-outs for the roof, windows and connections. It is then converted into a camper van according to customer wishes by experts in the California production department located eight kilometres away on a site operated by Volkswagen Group Services.

The VW California was launched in 1988, initially based on the T3 (22,000 vehicles). Until 2004, the camper van was built by conversion company Westfalia (a further around 39,000 vehicles based on the T4). With the switch to the fifth-generation Transporter, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles started to produce the camper in-house.

Camper production was established on an area of 7,500 square metres in the Limmer district of Hanover. Initially, around 20 vehicles were built every day by 35 production employees. Productivity steadily increased over the years, with around 15,150 California vehicles built in 2017. Construction of the 100,000th California in Limmer was celebrated the following year. Today, just five years later, up to 150 Californias are built every day by 600 employees in three shifts.

Commenting on the milestone, Kim Kilduff, Head of Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland, said: “The California is a vehicle that transcends everyday motoring. It’s about having the freedom to choose where you want to go with no restrictions and the prospect of new adventures every day. When you think of camper vans, the California is the go-to vehicle for most people. The fact that production has ramped up so dramatically in recent years is testament to the enduring success of this iconic vehicle.”