The FINANCIAL -- On June 3, Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, and Chen Zhixin, President of SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd., signed a key agreement on the automobile future of the Volkswagen Group in China at the Volkswagen Group Forum DRIVE in Berlin.
In the presence of Han Zheng, Party Secretary of the City of Shanghai and member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, Chen Hong, Chairman of SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, it was agreed to expand the main plant of the Chinese joint venture SVW in Anting to meet the new challenges associated with the local production of electric vehicle models. With this decision, full localization of the Volkswagen Group's electric vehicles in China is to be gradually implemented, according to Volkswagen Group.
"Volkswagen is a strong motor for the high-tech location China. Together with our long-standing partner SAIC, we are consistently forging ahead with advanced, environmentally compatible technologies. With these technologies, we will shape the automobile future of China. One of the main emphases is on electro-mobility," Winterkorn explained.
"Today's agreement lays the foundation for the further expansion of our commitment to Chinese society and the environment. We have been at home in China for more than 30 years. Over the next four years, we plan to localize more than 15 different electric vehicle models in China, including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles," said Heizmann.
With the development and local production of electric vehicles and components, Volkswagen is taking the next step in the further expansion of its research and development expertise in China. Research activities in the field of fuel cells and plug-in hybrid vehicles are to be intensified as well.
It was also agreed that a new C-segment model of the Volkswagen brand would be produced at the Anting plant, to the west of Shanghai, from 2016. In about four years time, a new electric vehicle model based on Volkswagen's Chinese bestseller, the Lavida, is due to roll off the production line at the Anting plant– this will be the first fully electric vehicle produced at the plant.
These agreements form part of the total investment of €22 billion in China planned by the Volkswagen Group together with its joint ventures by 2019. The largest investment program in the Chinese automobile industry to date is to be funded from the cash flow of the joint ventures Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen.
Together with its joint ventures Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, the Volkswagen Group delivered a total of 3.7 million vehicles in China in 2014, representing an increase of 12.4 percent over the previous year. The Volkswagen Group has 29 vehicle and component production locations in China.