Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany today visited the Volkswagen plant in Chengdu, southwest China. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, and Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, welcomed the guests together with Xu Jianyi, Chairman of FAW, and Zhang Pijie, President of FAW-Volkswagen.
Our objective is to work sustainability on a long-term basis throughout the world. Here in China, we are setting high environmental standards at our 17 locations and investing more in eco-friendly technologies and plants than ever before. Volkswagen is banking on China s innovative power because this market provides key impetus for our industry through ground-breaking new trends, said Winterkorn.
During her visit, Mrs. Merkel also inspected the production area of the Chengdu plant. Here, sustainability is practiced right down to the last detail. About 90% of the materials used in vehicle production come from local suppliers. In addition, the paintshop at Chengdu is the first facility in Asia to be equipped with the EcoDry Scrubber , an environmentally friendly technology that reduces water consumption for the painting process by up to 90%.
Chancellor Merkel also visited the training center and the assembly shop of the Chengdu plant and expressed special interest in the possibilities of vocational training in China. Apart from six different vocational training courses, FAW-Volkswagen also offers the possibility of a dual course of studies at Chengdu. Mrs. Merkel talked to young trainees and informed herself about their experience within the professional families. Each year, about 20,000 courses are completed by employees at the training centre, to further improve the quality of production and to raise educational standards.
By opening training centers at all its plants in China, Volkswagen was the first company to introduce the principle of dual vocational training in China. People are the key to our success. That is why we are committed to educating young talents, said Heizmann. Our objective is to offer innovative, eco-friendly products and reliable service. Efficient use of resources and environmental compatibility are also among the top priorities at our plants. In such a fast-growing market as China, a well-trained workforce is essential for mastering these challenges.
The Chengdu plant is a symbol of the long-term cooperation between Volkswagen and China. We create highly qualified jobs here. This plant is a cornerstone for the sustainable development of the Chinese automobile industry and a key element in our Go West strategy, said Heizmann.