Volkswagen Launches Fourth Chinese Auto Plant

Goal is to sell 1 million vehicles in China

Volkswagen, the biggest European carmaker and a leading western auto manufacturer in China, inaugurated on April 18 its fourth plant there as it work towards selling one million vehicles a year in the country.

The plant in Nanjing, in eastern China's Jiangsu province, has initial capacity of 60,000 vehicles and was bought from VW's Italian rival Fiat. "The new factory is part of VW's strategy ... to increase incrementally its capacities in line with market demand," a company statement said.

Shanghai Volkswagen modified an existing plant on a 640,000 square meter (6.9 million square foot) plot to meet VW requirements and was to initially produce the Santana Vista model at the site. It also took on about 1,200 employees from Fiat and trained them at other VW locations in China.

Volkswagen Group China delivered about 910,000 vehicles to customers in 2007 and has a target of one million this year.

In the first quarter of 2008, China overtook Germany as VW's biggest market.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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