Volkswagen Group China builds first factory specifically designed for MEB production
● The new SAIC VOLKSWAGEN factory in Anting, Shanghai, will produce cars and battery systems based on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), a unique platform specifically designed for mass production of electric drives, with the first vehicle being a SUV from the Volkswagen brand in 2020.
● Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft: “By building the first factory specifically designed for MEB production, we are opening a new chapter for the Chinese car industry together with our joint venture partner SAIC VOLKSWAGEN. We are strengthening our activities in China’s fast growing e-mobility market”
● The new facility will also further the Volkswagen Group’s vision for Industry 4.0, delivering improved automation rates, efficiency and a high production capacity.
Shanghai, October 19, 2018 – The electrification strategy of the Volkswagen Group China is rapidly gaining pace in the world’s biggest market for e-mobility. In Anting, the first factory specifically designed for the MEB platform is now commencing construction. The first model that will be produced is a Volkswagen Brand SUV in 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. SAIC VOLKSWAGEN held the groundbreaking ceremony under the presence of Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG as well as President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China.
“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 emphasize the importance of the China market for the Volkswagen Group,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.
SAIC VOLKSWAGEN’s new factory, located in Anting, Shanghai, adopts a production network structure based on Industry 4.0, greatly increasing automation rates and efficiency. The facility comes equipped with over 1400 Industry 4.0 standard robots, as well as a range of technologies including AI, AR and VR, delivering an intelligent and digitalized production plant. Covering 610,000 square meters, the NEV plant includes a variety of different function areas such as press and battery assembly workshops, in addition to an elevated stereoscopic warehouse and proving road and more. 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.
The facility is scheduled to be put into production by 2020 with 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. The factory will become an intelligent and flexible vehicle production base for SAIC VOLKSWAGEN, further supporting the Volkswagen Group in its e-mobility strategy in China.
The MEB electric platform is the first pure electric automotive modular platform developed for mass production by Volkswagen. Through this new 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.
In the world’s leading market for e-mobility, Volkswagen Group China pushes its e-mobility strategy at many different sites. In June, the opening of a second FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan marked another significant milestone for the electrification strategy in China. Owing to the plant expansion, annual production capacity in Foshan has increased from 300,000 to 600,000 vehicles. In addition to new SUV models from Volkswagen and Audi, the vehicles currently manufactured on the MQB platform are gradually being electrified. Moreover: by 2020, production of MEB-vehicles as well as MEB battery systems is set to commence here. In late May, production of Volkswagen models at the FAW-Volkswagen plant in Qingdao commenced. This flexible manufacturing facility allows for models with internal combustion engines as well as electric drive systems to be built on the same production line. FAW-Volkswagen will also produce battery systems for the MQB platform there.