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Volkswagen's joint venture opens 'mega factory' in South China

By Hao Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-25 07:38

FAW-Volkswagen has expanded its production capacity in China with the opening of the second phase of its South China base in the city of Foshan, Guangdong province on June 22.

With ongoing investment that is set to total some 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) by 2020, production at the base will double to 600,000 cars per year.

The Audi Q2L and the VW T-Roc - the Sino-German joint venture's first Chinese-made VW branded SUV - will be manufactured at the base.

Both models will be built on VW's MQB modular design platform, which allows the company to manufacture a variety of models using a singular structural base and layout.

The company's MEB design architecture will be introduced in the plant by 2020 for the production of pure electric models.

"With this mega factory at the South China base of FAW-Volkswagen, we are creating a leading-edge infrastructure to further activate our broad SUV offensive and our e-mobility strategy 'Roadmap E'," said Jochem Heizmann, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, at the opening ceremony.

Volkswagen's joint venture opens 'mega factory' in South China

"We will soon electrify cars. Moreover, the assembly of battery systems for the MEB will be based here at this site as well. We are fulfilling our promise to electrify China," he said.

The manufacturing base in Foshan has not only been expanded in terms of its production capacity, the second phase project has also continued FAW-Volkswagen's efforts towards green production.

In recent years, the plant has been able to reduce its emissions to zero thanks to the use of a complete purification and recycling system, according to the company. The facility is also well insulated so it can remain cool in summer and warm in winter, with the use of transparent heat-reserving boards in all walls.

"Foshan Plant is a symbol of green, energy-saving production, intelligent manufacturing and smart operation.

"Volkswagen has always represented the connection between economy and ecology, and for innovative and sustainable technology," Heizmann said.

Volkswagen's joint venture opens 'mega factory' in South China

The 1.66-million-square-meter plant is the third base this year that the joint venture has put into production, after an East China base in Shandong province in May, and the Audi Q plant in northern Jilin province in March.

Another new plant will open in Tianjin soon with production planned to start in August. FAW-Volkswagen has also announced strategic partnerships with IBM, Huawei and the Research Institute of Tsinghua University, so that it can continue to innovate on the technological front, particularly with regard to digital transformation.

Other areas the partnerships will research will include supply chain and the development of green industrial parks. "We are accelerating the speed of the innovation and digital transformation," Heizmann said. "This transformation will create value for the Chinese society. That is our first goal and it will be achieved only with strong support and partnerships."

(China Daily 06/25/2018 page19)

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