Webasto Invests More Than $8.7 Million into Chinese Plant

Webasto has announced a new Chongqing, China plant location. With an area encompassing approximately 172,200 square feet, the newly constructed site represents a total investment more than $8.7 million. According to a statement from the company, medium-term planning calls for Chongqing, the gateway to robustly growing western China, to be the site of annual production of up to 700,000 sunroofs by 2016.

“With our new plant in Chongqing, we are consolidating our position as the global market leader for panorama and sunroofs,” says Dr. Holger Engelmann, chairman of the board of Webasto SE, at the official opening. Engelmann expressed his thanks to the representatives of the city of Chongqing, saying, “It was very helpful to have the strong support of the Chinese authorities once again.”

Webasto’s manufacturing relationship with China began in Shanghai in 2001 with the production launch of the initial series contract for a sunroof. By 2014, two additional plants in Wuhan and Shenyang will be opened the company says, totaling 10 sunroof plants in China.

Opened in 2004, the local headquarters in Shanghai also features a development center where proprietary roof systems are created within the global Webasto research and development network.

“Customer projects are becoming increasingly global in nature and scale. For example, a contract for a global project can be awarded in Germany, development occurs in China and production then takes place in China and the U.S.,” Engelmann explains. “Only those who can display this global scope along the entire value chain—as a partner in development, project management and production—will have a sustainable, long-term place in the market.”

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