The Volkswagen Group (IW 1000/7) announced yesterday that it is expanding its production capacity in China. Shanghai-Volkswagen’s new plant in Ningbo, south eastern China, is designed to produce 300,000 vehicles annually.
“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, “ said Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, CEO of Volkswagen Group China. “Not only that – Ningbo is one of the Volkswagen Group’s most environmentally compatible plants.”
The Ningbo plant located will create 5,700 new jobs.
Production gets underway with the new ŠKODA Superb. Volkswagen and ŠKODA models based on the Modular Transverse Toolkit will follow in the next stage.
The company pointed out that it is 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% compared with conventional processes and annual CO2 emissions are reduced by 15,000 ton.
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 the Volkswagen Group’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% compared with the same prior-year period to 2.36 million vehicles.
The Volkswagen Group is aiming to expand annual production capacity to approx. 4 million vehicles by 2018.