The new factory in Anting is the first to be specifically designed for the MEB platform.
The electrification strategy of the Volkswagen Group China is rapidly gaining pace on the world’s biggest market for e-mobility. In Zwickau, Germany, the group-wide largest production line is currently being built, scheduled to start production of the electric ID car in summer 2019.
This Friday, SAIC Volkswagen China celebrated the first spade cut for a new factory in Anting near Shanghai – it will be the first mass production site for e-cars groupe-wide, based on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). Start of production in Anting is planned for 2020. Together with the FAW-Volkswagen factory in Foshan, which opened this summer, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN’s plant will begin to produce e-cars on the MEB platform directly after the first worldwide MEB-production starts in Zwickau, Germany.
Through this first pure electric automotive modular platform, electric vehicles will have a more dynamic design, with expanded battery capacity and all-new integrated digital services, while being fully prepared for future autonomous driving implementation – allowing all Volkswagen brands to make e-mobility widely accessible at moderate prices.
Key market for the electrification strategy
The ceremony was held under the presence of Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Jochem Heizmann, CEO of Volkswagen Group China as well as Chen Xianzhang, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN President. In the course of his speech, Diess described China as global leader for e-mobility and “the key market for the electrification strategy of the Volkswagen Group”, in which the group would like to be more involved in the future. “Through Volkswagen’s MEB platform, we will be able to easily produce state-of-the-art electric vehicles for our Chinese customers on a high scale. The Volkswagen Group, its brands and their Chinese joint venture partners focus consistently on sustainable mobility and push the transformation of the automotive industry in China and worldwide. In this way, we point out the high importance the Chinese market has for the Volkswagen Group,”
1400 Industry 4.0 standard robots
The new factory has been built as part of a joint venture between SAIC and Volkswagen and adopts a production network structure based on Industry 4.0, raising automation rates and efficiency to highest modern standards. The facility comes equipped with over 1400 Industry 4.0 standard robots, as well as a range of technologies including AI, AR and VR. Covering 610,000 square meters, the NEV plant includes a variety of different function areas such as pressing equipment and battery assembly workshops. Meanwhile, it utilizes 27 types of environmentally-friendly technologies with a focus on water preservation, energy saving and carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) reduction, turning the factory into a veritable “Green Field Factory”
The Anting factory is located approximately 30 kilometres west of the metropolis of Shanghai and has a planned annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. It will produce various new pure electric vehicles of SAIC VOLKSWAGEN, including medium- and large-sized pure electric SUVs, as well as battery systems. The very first car will be launched in 2020, a Volkswagen SUV.