Construction has begun on a $25-million laboratory in Oxnard that its owners hope will be one of the most advanced auto emissions testing and powertrain development facilities in the country.
Engineers for Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will work there on the company’s signature VWs as well as other brands it owns: Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti.
The 63,000-square-foot facility on four acres at 201 N. Del Norte Blvd. will also be a customer service support center for Bugatti dealers and customers in North and South America. New Bugattis and Lamborghinis can cost well over $1 million.
The new facility is to open next year, replacing Volkswagen’s existing facility in Westlake Village. It is being built specially for Volkswagen by developer Quattro-Del Norte, an affiliate of Oxnard-based BLT Enterprises, which signed Volkswagen to a long-term lease. Financial details of the lease were not disclosed.
The facility is expected to generate 2,500 room-nights a year for local hotels as engineers from around the world visit the center to work, BLT’s Rob Solomon said.
BLT will finance construction using the proceeds from a new type of tax-exempt bond made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Solomon said. BLT will be responsible for the repayment of the bonds issued through the California Enterprises Development Authority and purchased by Wells Fargo Bank.