Volkswagen starts pre-production in e-mobility plant in China

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 11, 2019

Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen AG, at the opening of the new factory of SAIC Volkswagen in Anting, Shanghai (China).

Volkswagen has begun pre-production in its first plant focused on e-mobility in China. The new plant, a SAIC Volkswagen joint venture, was built solely for the production of all-electric vehicles on Volkswagen‘s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB).

To celebrate the start of pre-production, a first China-specific all-electric Volkswagen ID. model rolled off the production line. The start of series production of all-electric cars based on the MEB platform in Anting is scheduled for October 2020, with an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

“The Volkswagen Group projects a total volume of 22 million all-electric cars worldwide by 2028, with more than 50 percent of that from China. The country plays a crucial part in our electrification strategy, which will pave the way to Volkswagen‘s goal of becoming net carbon-neutral by 2050,” said Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen AG. “Together with the start of MEB production, we will launch the Volkswagen ID. family in China as well, a brand-new generation of fully electric and connected vehicles.”

The MEB production plays a key role in Volkswagen Group China‘s e-mobility strategy. The Anting plant is scheduled to start ID. model production at the same time as a plant by FAW-Volkswagen in Foshan, resulting in a combined capacity of 600,000 units per year.

In the future, the Anting plant will be manufacturing MEB platform-based BEV models for various Volkswagen Group brands. In total, it is planned to increase the local production in China up to 15 MEB models from different brands by 2025.

Fully intelligent and digitised, the Anting plant sets a new benchmark for green and smart factories for Volkswagen Group China and the whole Chinese auto industry. The area utilisation is increased, meaning less space is needed compared with a standard plant. In terms of flexibility, the new MEB factory sets a benchmark in China by allowing for six different car projects running simultaneously.

As a unique platform specifically designed for the mass production of electric vehicles, MEB allows for vehicles with a longer wheelbase and a more spacious interior. Moreover, models produced on the MEB platform will see advanced digital and intelligent daily life integration, in terms of the latest infotainment systems and connectivity functionalities.