SEAT Componentes, one of the Spanish brand's three production centres together with Martorell and Barcelona, has begun production of the Volkswagen Group's new MQ281 gearbox. This new, six-speed gearbox will be used by the SEAT, Volkswagen, Audi and Škoda brands and its maximum throughput capacity amounts to 450,000 units annually.
Production of the MQ281 gearbox is a recognition by the Volkswagen Group to the work carried out by SEAT Componentes in recent years to improve efficiency and increase productivity. Located in El Prat de Llobregat near the Barcelona airport, the plant stands out for being highly integrated and manufactures every aluminium part as well as gears and shafts, for which it has casting, machining, assembly and bench testing facilities. In 2018, it made close to 700,000 MQ200 model gearboxes and exported 56% of its output.
According to SEAT Vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer, “SEAT Componentes is a key plant for our company, and with the allocation of this project, for the Volkswagen Group as well. We will be able to raise the production ceiling with this new gearbox to up to 3,500 units daily, enabling us to maintain the plant as a benchmark centre in terms of efficiency, productivity and quality. Moreover, the MQ281 transmission cuts three grammes of CO2 emissions per km from each vehicle compared to a similar gearbox.”
Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “The start of production of the new MQ281 reveals the advantages of our new Group Components unit. We use cross-brand hubs for the configuration of our plants and for production, creating the freedom and flexibility that we urgently need for the transformation to electric mobility.”
SEAT Componentes, 40 years creating gearboxes
The SEAT Componentes plant is now making the MQ281 transmission.
SEAT Componentes is one of the nine facilities dedicated to making transmissions that the Volkswagen Group has all over the world together with the ones in Kassel (Germany), Vrchlabi and Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic), Córdoba (Argentina) and Anting, Dalian, Tianjin and Changchun (China). It is staffed by over 1,000 employees and has a surface area of 155,000 square metres.
With its newly optimised production lines, the plant currently has a maximum daily manufacturing capacity of 3,500 gearboxes, 300 more than prior to the start of production of the new MQ281. In addition to the new transmission, SEAT Componentes also makes the MQ200 gearbox. Together, the maximum annual output is now 800,000 gearboxes.
Created in 1979, SEAT Componentes has been singled out on several occasions for its efficiency and the high quality of its production processes. From 2010 to 2013, the plant reorganised its production flows in order to increase capacity, productivity and quality, which led to the allocation of the new gearbox. In 2016, the plant was recognised with the Industrial Excellence Award for the excellence and efficiency of its lean management strategy, acknowledging it as a benchmark in terms of productivity and quality.