Wolfsburg / Shanghai, November 19, 2013: Volkswagen has celebrated the production of the 10 millionth vehicle by Shanghai-Volkswagen, a joint venture of Volkswagen and SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd. When the milestone vehicle, a Volkswagen Tiguan, rolled off the production line, the event was witnessed by Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, together with government representatives and managers from Shanghai-Volkswagen and SAIC.
“This milestone is a sign of the tremendous enthusiasm with which millions of customers in China have welcomed vehicles and services from the Volkswagen Group over the course of our successful partnership,” said Prof. Dr. Heizmann in Shanghai. “Volkswagen and SAIC Motor established Shanghai-Volkswagen more than 30 years ago and have performed genuinely pioneering work in the Chinese automobile industry.”
Volkswagen produced its first vehicle in Shanghai, a Volkswagen Santana, in April 1983. With more than 4.2 million units produced, the Santana is a prominent feature on the roads of China to this day. At the same time, the Group and its joint ventures have become the development motor of the Chinese automobile industry – through extensive investments in the localisation of products and production as well as through the training of skilled employees. Shanghai-Volkswagen already established its own development department in 1990 and commissioned a test facility in 1997 and its own design centre in 2003. In 2006, the joint venture started to produce models of the ŠKODA brand.
Nowadays, the Volkswagen Group and its joint ventures – Shanghai-Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen – have more than 75,000 employees in China. Shanghai-Volkswagen has also introduced the innovative dual vocational training model, which combines theoretical and practical training for new employees. For seven years in succession, Shanghai-Volkswagen was named “Top employer in China”.
The joint venture Shanghai-Volkswagen currently operates vehicle plants in Anting, Nanjing, Ningbo and Yizheng, Jiangsu province. In addition, production at the plant in Urumqi, Xinjiang region, commenced a few month ago. A further plant in Changsha, south central China, is scheduled for completion in 2015.
China is now the largest sales market for the Volkswagen Group. In 2012, the Group, together with its joint ventures Shanghai-Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, delivered 2.81 million vehicles to customers in China. In the first nine months of this year, sales grew by 18 per cent compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, reaching about 2.36 million vehicles. As of September 2013, Volkswagen Group China has a market share of 20.9 per cent in the Greater China region (including Hong Kong).
Volkswagen UK is one of the country’s largest importers, accounting for almost one in ten of every car sold. The company sells a wide range of vehicles which range from compact city cars through the best-selling and renowned Golf, Polo and Beetle models, to luxury saloons and 4x4s.