VDL Bus & Coach opens state-of-the-art bus plant in Roeselare, Flanders

VDL Bus Roeselare, the new Flemish production facility of VDL Bus & Coach, was officially opened today, Wednesday 10 April. In addition to the 27,000m2 production facility, this also launches the workshop, warehouse, and offices of VDL Bus Roeselare and VDL Bus & Coach Belgium nv.

The site at Krommebeekpark 2, Roeselare, which covers an area of 77,000m2, has been in operation for some time. Here at VDL Bus Roeselare, there will be serial production of the new generation Citea, the 100% electric bus for public transport.

The opening was attended by Flemish prime minister Jan Jambon and Flemish minister Lydia Peeters (Mobility) as well as customers, suppliers and media.

The foundation stone of VDL Groep's new bus plant had been laid on 8 February 2022. After more than two years, these plans have come to fruition in what is the most modern bus factory in Europe.

Sustainability and innovation

The new site is characterised by VDL Groep's sustainability and innovation philosophy, which is reflected in several areas. The building was designed with a strong focus on environmental friendliness, with underfloor heating and extensive ventilation systems ensuring efficient use of energy. Solar panels have been integrated into the design, making the plant largely self-sufficient in its energy needs. The green roof not only contributes to the aesthetics of the building, but also acts as a natural insulator and contributes to the biodiversity of the environment. With these facilities, VDL Bus & Coach strives for a sustainable and ecologically responsible production environment and proudly continues to work on reducing its ecological footprint.

Local employment and European production

VDL Bus & Coach deliberately chooses to build its buses in Europe. "We have a reliable network of production facilities, close to customers, with our own skilled workers who have been loyal to us for years, and with sustainable production methods. Our employees are highly qualified and use state-of-the-art technology to produce the electric buses of today and of the future," says Rolf-Jan Zweep, CEO of VDL Bus & Coach.

Alain Doucet, managing director VDL Bus Roeselare, also stresses the importance of investing in jobs: "We know that technically-skilled people are of paramount importance for the high-end manufacturing industry. It is crucial that we also continue to invest in lifelong learning as bus builders to adapt the skills of our employees to the changing needs of the economy. However, we should not assume this happens automatically: it requires a great effort from both employer and employee."

VDL Bus & Coach, part of the family-owned VDL Groep, is a staunch advocate of retaining employment, knowledge and skills within its own region. To continue that endeavour and keep the bus manufacturing industry within Europe, VDL Bus & Coach stresses the importance of a level playing field with initiatives from other continents. "There has to be fair competition, playing by the same rules," says Rolf-Jan Zweep.

VDL Bus Roeselare's production capacity is around 800 buses per annum. Despite the fact that the Roeselare plant could manufacture this total number of new-generation Citeas each year on its own, VDL Bus & Coach deliberately chose to share production of this electric city bus with its other production facility in Valkenswaard. This maximises the use of available production capacity. It also increases flexibility.

About VDL Bus & Coach

The core activities of VDL Bus & Coach comprise the development, production, sales, aftersales, and service of a wide range of public transport buses and coaches. VDL Bus & Coach consists of several operating companies that are jointly active on the world market. Production takes place in Western Europe. Quality, safety, durability, the environment, low energy consumption, comfort and low maintenance costs are of paramount importance. In the transition to zero emission transport, VDL Bus & Coach offers total solutions. VDL Bus & Coach products are sold through a worldwide network of own branches, importers and agents in more than 30 countries. The customer can rely on a fast and faultless aftersales, servicing and maintenance service by employees of one of the many service points. A very extensive distribution network ensures that spare parts are delivered to their destination as quickly as possible. VDL Bus & Coach has grown into one of the largest bus manufacturers in Europe.