Shanghai Volkswagen announced last week the addition of a new factory in China’s far Western Xinjiang Province, making Volkswagen the first car manufacturer in the province.
Many automotive companies are actively looking to China’s mineral rich Western regions to further their sales goals in 2014, but few have been able to set up factories and manufacturing facilities close to their intended markets, Volkswagen are a pioneer in setting up the new 50,000 production capacity factory in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi. The new facility will have its own body and paint shop and will produce the New Santana in SKD form. Volkswagen announced that the new factory is the first step in VW’s own ‘Go West‘ strategy along with their Shanghai based partner, Shanghai Automotive and will soon be joined by a new facility in Changsha, South West China.
Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said at the start of assembly. “Our vehicle plant in Urumqi provides sustainable impetus for economic and social development in the region and allows us to benefit from expected growth in Western China.” He went on to say this included support for all ethnic groups and was based on a particularly responsible approach to the environment and society. “For three decades, Volkswagen has been the most responsible partner of China’s auto industry. Today, with Shanghai Volkswagen, we take another pioneering step. Production of our new Volkswagen Santana brings mobility and clear future prospects for the people in the region.”
Xinjiang is one of China’s most volatile regions, it is hoped that by introducing more employment opportunities into the region, religious and ethnic divides could be bridged, Volkswagen are aiming to hire a multicultural staff which will include all ethnic minorities within the region.
Shanghai-Volkswagen (SVW) currently operates a total of three vehicle plants in Shanghai, Nanjing and Yizheng, which is located in Jiangsu province. A fourth plant in Changsha in the southern part of Central China is to be completed by the end of 2015.