Bavaria-based Knaus Tabbert GmbH, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles, has announced plans to build a new production hall at its Hungarian plant in Nagyoroszi in Nógrád County. The 13.5 million Euro ($14.7 million USD) investment will feature a 10,000 square metre assembly hall with a multiline production capability. This not inconsiderable capital investment is a huge vote of confidence in the somewhat anemic Hungarian economy which in the third quarter expanded at its slowest pace since Q2 2013.
“Due to capacity and space constraints we are today reaching our production limits at our three plants, and we can therefore fully satisfy the increased demand only with longer delivery times”, explained managing director Werner Vaterl. “With this investment we will create the necessary framework conditions for the future that will allow us to on the short term better respond to demand fluctuations on the individual European markets.”
This increase in production capability will allow Knaus Tabbert to manufacture caravans, motorhomes, and camper vans on one line – following a Just in Time manufacturing philosophy. The extended capacities will make it possible to reduce the production time per vehicle from about 45 minutes to less than 23 minutes, a 100 percent increase over current line output. In 2015 Knaus Tabbert produced approximately 2,250 camper vans and about 2,430 caravans at the plant in Nagyoroszi (the maximum capacity of the existing facility.) and the company intends to increase production output of this European plant to 5,000 units per year.
In addition to the construction of the new production hall – currently scheduled to take one year – there will also be a number of additional construction stages: Beginning in early 2017, body construction will move to the current caravan production area with the required raw materials supplied and installed directly on the spot, so that finished components can be supplied to the line as modules. Both the cabinetmaking and sewing sections will also be relocated to facilitate this new multiline production layout. Production operations at the new facility are scheduled to begin in 2018.
“This investment is a necessary measure that…ensures a well prepared position of our [sic] company in the future. In this respect these construction measures in Hungary certainly will have a medium to long term effect…on our two other plants in Jandelsbrunn and Mottgers (Hesse)”, concluded Vaterl.
In the 2014 financial year Knaus Tabbert’s core brands; Knaus (motorhomes and caravans), Tabbert (premium caravans), the cult T@B caravan, and Weinsberg (camper vans and caravans) generated a turnover of Euro 297 million ($325 million USD) and produced about 13,000 caravans, motorhomes, and camper vans. The company – which axed its poorly performing Wilk caravan brand in 2014 – is currently on course to increase its turnover for the 2015 financial year to an estimated 350 million Euros. Knaus Tabbert currently employs 1,200 workers across four production facilities.
Additional Information: Knaus Tabbert GmbH, Helmut-Knaus-Straße 1, 94118 Jandelsbrunn • Tel: +49(0)8583 / 21-1 •
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