vw oxnard opening 2012.automotiveIT

VW executives were joined by local political and community leaders at the festive opening (Photo: VW)

Volkswagen has opened a new 27 million-dlr r&d center in Oxnard California, where it will focus on powertrain and systems development, governmental compliance and field quality testing.

The German carmaker said the 64,000 square-foot facility, which is expected to be fully operational later this year, will employ 50 people initially but could grow at a later date.

The test center is part of the VW Group's 4 billion dlr growth strategy for the US market and it will play an important role in supporting the company's growth plans there.

In line with VW's global plans for greener manufacturing, the Oxnard facility will have 2,500 430-kilowatt solar panels that will reduce energy costs by nearly a third. "Coupled with other energy-efficient technologies, the goal is to be one of the most environmentally friendly automobile testing laboratories in the world," VW said in a press release.

The new test center will support several the core VW brand as well as sister marques Audi, Porsche, Bentley, and Bugatti.