The Volkswagen Group is one of the earliest and most successful international partners of China’s automobile industry. The Volkswagen Group established contacts with China as early as 1978.
In October 1984, SAIC Volkswagen Corporation Ltd., Volkswagen Group’s first joint venture in China, laid its foundations in Shanghai. In February 1991, FAW-Volkswagen Corporation Ltd. was established in Changchun, creating the Volkswagen Group’s second joint venture in China. In 2017, the Volkswagen Group launched a new joint venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd. for electric mobility in China. In December 2020, the joint venture was renamed as Volkswagen (Anhui) Automotive Company Limited, after the Volkswagen Group increasing its stake in the company to 75 %.
The business scope of the Volkswagen Group in China includes the production, sales and services of complete vehicles and parts, such as engines and transmissions. Some of the Group motor brands – including VGIC, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand, Audi, ŠKODA, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, MAN, Scania and Ducati – have a business presence in China through Volkswagen Group China and its subsidiaries. In 2021, Volkswagen Group China, together with its Chinese joint ventures, delivered 3.3 million vehicles in Mainland China and Hong Kong. As of the end of 2021, Volkswagen Group China has over 90,000 employees.
Volkswagen Group China has always strived to be the most responsible and trustworthy partner in China. The Group considers Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as an integral part of corporate strategy and sustainable development, and has made positive social contributions to Chinese society through a diverse range of CSR projects. In 2021, Volkswagen Group China developed three new CSR strategic areas, namely: low carbon future, education, and economic empowerment, based on the local social issues, corporate strengths, and previous CSR framework and experience. Bearing the vision of "Be the Role Model of a Sustainable and Responsible Corporate Citizen in China", the Group is committed to shoulder its social responsibilities and contribute to the sustainable development of China's ecology and society in the future.
The three highlight projects 2021
“Despite the circumstances, we have achieved substantial progress in our operations. A strong product portfolio together with an increasing focus on a digital approach to marketing and the purchase journey have ensured continued progress in a difficult year.”
Volkswagen Group China Defends Market Position with Delivery of 3.3 Million Vehicles
In 2021, Volkswagen Group China, together with its Chinese joint ventures, delivered 3.3 million vehicles in Mainland China and Hong Kong. While volume brands were significantly impacted by the global semiconductor supply bottlenecks, Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini set new annual records, with year-on-year growth of 7.5%, 40.0% and 54.8%, respectively. Volkswagen brand, including JETTA, delivered over 2.4 million vehicles in 2021, remaining the number one brand for Chinese customers.
Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said, “We were able to maintain our leading market position, resisting ongoing challenges. Our NEV strategy continued to gain momentum, evidenced by double growth in the NEV segment, and a three-fold increase in BEV deliveries.”
He added, “We also broke ground on our sustainable state-of-the-art Volkswagen Anhui MEB vehicle and components plants, which will be completed this year, with start of production in 2023. In addition, we defined our strategic roadmap for China until 2030, focusing on innovation and a strong R&D base, to provide China specific products and services more quickly to meet market needs, including connectivity and automated driving.”
Revealing a New Chapter - Volkswagen Group China Launching its New Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy
In 2021, Volkswagen Group China announced a new CSR strategy, combining social issues with company strength to focus on three new strategic areas: Low-carbon Future, Education and Economic Empowerment. The Group is dedicated to contributing to the sustainable development of both Chinese society and the environment, with more than 200 million RMB dedicated to its CSR fund over the next 5 years here in China.
Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said: “Volkswagen is undergoing one of the greatest corporate transformations of all time. And this changeover is not purely economic in nature, but also cultural. We aim to shape this transformation economically, environmentally and in a socially responsible manner, so that our employees and stakeholders will be proud to be a part of it. For decades, our global CSR activities have focused on supporting local development, educational, and community projects.”
Low Carbon Future: Working towards a low-carbon future is at the core of the Group's new CSR strategy. With its "goTOzero" commitment, the Group aims to achieve carbon neutrality across the entire product lifecycle by 2050. As one powerful initiative to embrace Group vision of a low-carbon future, the “Green Belt” project will support afforestation in ecologically fragile areas of northern China over the next 10 years, as well as improve the lives of local residents and create more employment opportunities through ecological restoration.
Education: Youth is an important force for social development, which is why educational support has always been one of the key focus areas for Volkswagen Group China. From 2021, Volkswagen Group China provides diversified educational programs through the “Youth Summit” project, aiming to stimulate Chinese university students’ awareness of future mobility topics in the digital era, enhance their competencies and creativity, and shape the future of mobility together with them. In addition, the Group continues with its youth football projects, aiming to help build healthy bodies and promote football culture among younger generations.
Economic Empowerment: China's poverty alleviation has proven that vocational training inspires and empowers people, to provide a real chance for a better life. In order to achieve more in this area, Volkswagen Group China provides financial support to youth from rural low-income families, along with access to an automotive vocational education and training opportunities in terms of its economic empowerment strategy.
Meanwhile, employees are one of the most important stakeholders of the Group. Volkswagen Group China regards “We take on responsibility for the environment and society” as one of the Group Essentials. By launching the “Big Starts Small” volunteer charity project, Volkswagen Group China proposes the concept of “Every little helps”, both engaging and inspiring employees to actively participate in charitable initiatives as part of their daily life, starting with small things in the name of public service for the betterment of society.
Volkswagen Group China takes solid steps to reduce carbon emissions in production and supply chain
Volkswagen Group China remains ahead of the curve when it comes to climate actions and being a responsible corporate citizen. Along with the Group’s accelerated e-mobility push, 2021 saw the implementation and enhancement of initiatives focused on green production and a sustainable supply chain, placing it on schedule to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. With renewable electricity and energy efficiency improvement measures already found across multiple production locations, Volkswagen Group China is also proactively involved in the supply chain, encouraging effective measures to reduce carbon emissions and achieve sustainable development.
While decarbonization efforts have been ramped up this year, renewable electricity use is not a new concept for the Group and its production partners. In addition to being built with eco-friendly features and diverse energy-saving infrastructures, the two MEB plants in Anting and Foshan are supplied with 100% renewable electricity through onsite solar photovoltaics (PV) installation as well as the direct purchase of renewable electricity and certificates. The latest MEB plant, Volkswagen Anhui, will use renewable electricity from the start of production and will incorporate many energy-saving strategies as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce overall carbon emissions.
Sustainable Supply Chain
The sustainable management of the supply chain for long-term growth is driven by Volkswagen Group China by influencing suppliers to use renewable electricity to reduce carbon emissions. The Group is working together with its partners and suppliers in China to set up a roadmap of achieving 100% renewable electricity usage by 2030, covering both ICE and NEV suppliers. In 2021, over 200 suppliers committed to renewable electricity conversion by signing obligation
letters. Concerning battery supply, Volkswagen Anhui has fully implemented a project that sees batteries installed on the plant’s first model – starting production in the second half of 2023 – to be produced with 100% renewable electricity, seven years earlier than the 2030 goal.
The sustainability requirement in its procurement system has also been strengthened by Volkswagen Group China in multiple other ways. In 2021, the Group stepped up its S-Rating program in China, a mandatory rating of suppliers’ sustainability performance, now covering suppliers for NEV production. With this professional tool, the Group assesses suppliers' sustainability management systems and practices from a variety of aspects, including working conditions and occupational health and safety. As of the end of 2021, the S-Rating covers 1,050 suppliers in China, with all 200+ production suppliers for Volkswagen Anhui’s first NEV model obtaining a positive rating.
Responsible sourcing of raw material for batteries, especially nickel, cobalt and manganese, and using recycled content in new battery cells, are also key elements in the Group’s vision of a sustainable supply chain.
Being aware of our internal and external stakeholders’ needs and expectations is a crucial prerequisite for business success. Volkswagen Group China actively seeks out and maintains dialogs with our stakeholders.
Stakeholders include governmental organizations, public organizations, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, local communities, business partners, customers, suppliers, employees, analysts and investors – a network of relationships that is expanding in parallel with our market presence.
- Volkswagen Group China awarded “Top Employer” in 2021.
- SAIC VOLKSWAGEN awarded “Top Employer” in 2021.
- FAW-Volkswagen awarded “Top Employer” in 2021.
- Volkswagen Automatic Transmission awarded “Top Employer” in 2021.
- Volkswagen Finance (China) awarded “Top Employer” in 2021.
- Volkswagen Group China awarded Donation Certificate of Economic Empowerment in 2021
- Volkswagen Group China awarded Excellent Philanthropy Case in 2021
- Volkswagen Group China awarded “2021 Golden Key CSR Award in China Automotive Industry”