Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, who is to be responsible for the new ‘China’ Board of Management function, and Dr. Michael Macht, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG responsible for Group production, have inaugurated a new plant for Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW) in Yizheng, Eastern China, together with Hu Maoyuan, Chairman of SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd. The plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
Heizmann, who already gave the green light for the new plant in July 2010, underlined the good cooperation with the Chinese partners throughout the entire project for the new plant. ‘With a construction period of two years, we are even opening our new facility in Yizheng earlier than planned. This is one of the most environmentally compatible plants of the Volkswagen Group. With advanced technologies and new production processes, we intend to continue to play an instrumental role in the future of China as an automobile country,’ Heizmann continued.
Together with Hu Maoyuan (SAIC) and representatives of the government of Jiangsu Province, Heizmann started production of the Volkswagen Polo last week. As the second plant producing this model in China, Yizheng will make production considerably more flexible. It is also planned to produce ŠKODA models here in the next stage. Yizheng plant, located about 300 km to the North-West of Shanghai, will create about 3,700 new jobs in the region. With press, body and paint shops as well as a final assembly unit, the plant has a total capacity of about 300,000 vehicles per year. In addition, a technical testing centre, a training academy to provide initial and advanced training for employees and an energy centre were constructed on the site, which has a total area of about 1.3 million square metres. Yizheng works to the highest painting standards and uses geothermal energy for the heating and cooling of the factory halls. For recharging transfer trucks at the plant and as well as employees’ e-bikes, solar panels are used throughout the plant. Volkswagen is therefore setting new standards for sustainable, resource-efficient automobile production in China. By 2018, the Volkswagen Group intends to make its worldwide production 25 per cent more environmentally compatible. Advanced production processes coupled with measures to reduce energy consumption are the key elements in this strategy.
The People’s Republic of China is the Volkswagen Group’s largest sales market. In 2011, Volkswagen delivered 2.26 million vehicles to customers in China. In the first half of 2012, deliveries rose by 17.5 per cent to about 1.30 million units. With new products in line with market requirements, the objective of Volkswagen Group China is to increase annual production capacity to about four million units by 2018.