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AutoEuropa Automóveis, Lda. is an automotive assembly plant, located in the city of Palmela, near Lisbon, Portugal. Formed in 1991, it began operations in 1995. Originally a joint venture between Ford Europe and Volkswagen Group, it is now fully owned by Volkswagen.


After the signature of a joint venture agreement between Volkswagen Group and Ford in July 1991,[1] the 2 million m2 plant was built in four years, including a surrounding industrial park on which key suppliers are located.

Opened as a 50/50 joint-venture, its initial purpose was to assemble a communal-designed MPV model sold under three marques: Volkswagen Sharan, SEAT Alhambra, and Ford Galaxy. Producing these vehicles, AutoEuropa almost reached its production limit of 172,500 units per year.

However, when Ford left the joint-venture and the model life-cycle approached its end, Volkswagen took ownership of the plant and production declined considerably. Under Volkswagen's internal bidding system, the plant had to compete for new models with other Volkswagen plants, while threatening to close the plant and to give concessions to the workers and the State.

Eventually, AutoEuropa won the production rights of the new convertible/coupé-only Volkswagen Eos from late 2005, producing just 79,896 vehicles of the original models plus the Eos. In 2008 the plant started production of the third generation Volkswagen Scirocco, and presently employs 3,000 people on site, 2,350 supplier jobs on the industrial park, and an additional 3,750 supplier jobs within Portugal.


Year Total Volkswagen Eos Volkswagen Scirocco Volkswagen Sharan/SEAT Alhambra
2007 93.609 55.560 - 38.049
2008 94.100 43.534 20.472 29.897

[2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Former Production[edit]


As the existing models come to the end of their life cycles, the plant will need to compete for new models from 2010 onwards. It was proposed that in 2009 the production line will be prepared for the replacement,[7] although the economic crisis will delay that model.

Internal sources say[citation needed] AutoEuropa is to take up production of the Volkswagen Polo by latest November 2010 as a 2011 showroom model, a sub-compact sold everywhere but the US and Canada. The factory management are also bidding for production of the new Volkswagen BlueSport roadster.


  1. ^ AutoEuropa History of Volswagen Autoeuropa. Recovered 1 July 2015
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 

External links[edit]