Business / Companies

FAW-Volkswagen joint venture to build new plant in Tianjin

By Zhang Min, Liu Jing and Zhuang Yu in Tianjin (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-10 09:44

Auto joint venture FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co Ltd is to build a new whole-vehicle manufacturing base in Tianjin, a move to increase its presence in China, where it already has four plants nationwide.

The construction of the new base, named North China Base, will start on next Wednesday and is expected to be finished in 2018, Sun Guowang, secretary of the company's board, said at a news conference on Monday.

"A nationwide network of the company's car-making bases will take shape when the new one is finished," Sun said, adding that it will help the company better meet the needs of consumers nationwide.

According to Sun, with an investment of 19.5 billion yuan ($3 billion), the new plant is expected to make 300,000 cars per year.

FAW-Volkswagen is a joint venture between the FAW Group and Volkswagen Group that makes Audi and Volkswagen vehicles in China.

It has become one of the country's top car makers since its foundation in 1991.

FAW-Volkswagen's four current bases in China are located in the northeastern city of Changchun, the southern city of Foshan, the southwestern city of Chengdu, and the eastern city of Qingdao, respectively.

The bases manufactured a total of 1.65 million vehicles last year, and aim to reach an annual output of 3 million vehicles by 2020, according to the company's forecast.

Covering 108 hectare of land, the new base is located at Tianjin Economic & Technological Development Area. "The location is near one of northern China's main ports, which makes it convenient for logistics," Sun said.

What he said referred to Tianjin Port, which is 45 kilometers away from the base.

When put into operation, the base will require 6,000 employees, mainly from local and surrounding areas of TEDA.

The automobile manufacturing industry is one of the pillar industries of TEDA, which has gathered world-known vehicle makers including Toyota Motor Corp and the domestic giant Great Wall Motor Corp.

The industry yielded nearly a million whole-vehicles last year, the types of which cover SUVs, sedans, new energy and special vehicles.

"Thanks to the mature industry in TEDA, it will be easy for us to recruit skilled workers," Sun said, adding that the new base will also attract its components suppliers to follow suit.

"Their coming will save us more cost for logistics, and make the industry here flourish more," he said.

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