Friday 25 October 2013

VW opens fifth plant in China

Volkswagen has inaugurated its Shanghai-Volkswagen plant in Ningbo, south eastern China. The plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

The Ningbo plant is located some 150 km south of Anting (greater Shanghai area) and will create 5,700 new jobs. The facility has its own press, body and paint shops and final assembly unit.

Production begins with the new ŠKODA Superb. Volkswagen and ŠKODA models based on the MQB platform will follow in the next stage.

The ceremony was conducted by Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, and Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, member of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft board of management and president and chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group China. They were joined by Hu Maoyuan, chairman of SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd., to inaugurate Shanghai-Volkswagen’s new plant in Ningbo, south eastern China. The plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

Prof. Dr. Winterkorn said the new, state-of-the-art factory was further proof of the Volkswagen Group’s comprehensive commitment in China.

Prof. Dr. Heizmann added: “The construction period of less than two years underscores the good cooperation with our Chinese partners. With the new plant in Ningbo, we can now bring new and innovative products based on the Modular Transverse Toolkit to our Chinese customers even faster. Not only that – Ningbo is one of the Volkswagen Group’s most environmentally compatible plants.”

Volkswagen claims to be setting new standards for sustainable, resource-efficient automobile production in China. Advanced processes coupled with measures to reduce energy consumption and emissions are key elements in this strategy. For example, steam from the condensers is used to heat water in Ningbo. Water consumption in the paint shop is cut by 90 per cent compared with conventional processes and annual CO2emissions are reduced by 15,000 tonnes.

The Ningbo factory is Shanghai-Volkswagen’s fifth vehicle plant. The joint venture currently operates vehicle plants in Anting, Nanjing and Yizheng, Jiangsu province. In addition, production at the plant in Urumqi, Xinjiang region, commenced a few weeks ago. A further plant in Changsha, south central China, is scheduled for completion in 2015.

China is Volkswagen’s largest sales market. In 2012, the company and its partners Shanghai-Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen delivered 2.81 million vehicles to customers in China.

In the first nine months of this year, deliveries rose some 18 per cent compared with the same prior-year period to 2.36 million vehicles. The Volkswagen Group is aiming to expand annual production capacity to some 4 million vehicles by 2018.  

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