Working to a tight schedule, Gestamp Umformtechnik GmbH has installed an ultra-modern plant in Bielefeld. CHG-MERIDIAN is supporting this capital expenditure project with a sophisticated lease model based on the ‘pay-on-production’ principle.

Big-ticket order for automotive supplier

Strong, robust, versatile: The Amarok pick-up from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is a dependable workhorse for use on construction sites and in off-road applications. Obviously, this successful all-rounder from Volkswagen needs a solid base. Steel ladder chassis were originally imported to Hannover from VW’s core Amarok plant in Argentina. Due to the logistical expense, VW was looking for a partner in Germany. In 2013, Volkswagen chose Gestamp Umformtechnik to supply the chassis, requiring the latter to invest in a brand-new production facility that is to be used exclusively for this order and is equipped with welding and assembly robots.

CHG-MERIDIAN develops customized business concepts for sophisticated industrial capital expenditure projects.

Overnight success

Everything then had to move very fast in Bielefeld: “Chassis construction for the Amarok was a demanding and time-critical project,” explains Bernd Willenberg, member of the Management Board responsible for accounting and financial control at Gestamp Umformtechnik. Trained as an economist, he is visibly proud of the project and the achievements of the employees who spent a year preparing thoroughly for the successful production start-up with support from plant supplier Kuka and the technology and finance experts at CHG-MERIDIAN. Chassis consisting of almost 240 parts for the VW Amarok have been coming off the production line at the Gestamp Umformtechnik GmbH plant in Bielefeld since March 2014.

From paper to production

Because the factory building already existed, Gestamp’s role was to plan the facility within the available floorspace. “We overcame this challenge to our utmost satisfaction in cooperation with Kuka,” says Jürgen Lohmann, head of process optimization at Gestamp Umformtechnik. CHG-MERIDIAN provided support at every stage of the planning, development, construction, and start-up of the production line. This is because CHG-MERIDIAN does not simply offer finance, it is a genuine project partner that provides customers with professional advice throughout the lifecycle of the industrial plant, from the initial idea for the project to dismantling the plant after use. Transparency, adaptation to the general parameters of the particular capital expenditure project, and complete control over costs are the advantages of CHG-MERIDIAN’s solutions. This form of intelligent support for capital expenditure projects is especially important in the automotive component industry because component suppliers are taking on responsibility for an ever larger proportion of the value creation process for complex automotive products. This perfectly reflects the corporate philosophy of CHG-MERIDIAN, which provides expert, all-round support throughout the technology lifecycle, thereby creating secure conditions for capital expenditure in an ever-changing environment. This was especially important to Gestamp Umformtechnik in the case of the Amarok order because the company had little more than a year from developing the initial idea to bringing the plant on stream. The ‘running change’ also had to go smoothly i.e. without interrupting Amarok production in Hannover. “If you get behind schedule in a project like this, you can rarely catch up again,” is how board member Bernd Willenberg describes the challenge faced by Gestamp.

The best form for capital investment

For the production of the ladder chassis for the VW Amarok at Gestamp Umformtechnik, CHG-MERIDIAN teamed up with KUKA Roboter GmbH to develop a comprehensive lease model for industrial robots and automation systems based on the pay-on-production principle. This enables Gestamp Umformtechnik to align its own capital expenditure with the planned income from the order. The lease payments are based on production output at Gestamp Umformtechnik – an approach that provides an all-round view of the ladder chassis project that goes beyond just the sales perspective. Ultimately, Gestamp Umformtechnik will increase its earnings potential from this project by assessing the entire plant in terms of alternative uses and opportunities for modernization after the first production cycle and then incorporating them into the lease structure.


Following the pilot project at the Bielefeld site, CHG-MERIDIAN was also involved in production orders based on the pay-on-production principle at Gestamp Group factories in Spain and Hungary.


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Company facts

  • Company: Gestamp Umformtechnik GmbH
  • Sector: Automotive component supply
  • Products: Chassis and body components
  • Registered office: Ludwigsfelde, Brandenburg, Germany
  • Head office: Bielefeld, Germany
  • Management Board: Francisco José Riberas Mera, Dr. Theodor Plümpe, Dr. Ronald Märtins, Jesús Taboada
  • Employees: approx. 1,900 (including approx. 70 apprentices) in Bielefeld, approx. 350 employees (including approx. 10 apprentices) in Ludwigsfelde
  • Revenue: > €475 million
  • Export rate: approx. 30 percent
  • Production sites: Bielefeld and Ludwigsfelde
1,900 employees in Bielefeld and 350 employees in Ludwigsfelde

CHG-MERIDIAN contributed the expertise for the entire technology lifecycle of a plant. Gestamp also benefited from a customized and secure financing model.