German automotive supplier Webasto opens its 10th plant in China1. June 2018
Webasto’s 10th production site, located in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou, opened in March. Production will now be gradually relocated to the new plant by a previously leased, smaller facility to minimize production downtime. The new factory has an annual capacity of 1.6 million sunroofs and supplies well-known automakers in the area, including Dongfeng Nissan, FAW-Volkswagen and Guangzhou Honda. According to Webasto, China is the world’s largest market for sunroofs. There, a sunroof is installed in 40% of the vehicles, while the global average is 33%. A growing trend in China is the demand for special sunroofs for convertibles and panoramic roofs or sunroofs with comfort features such as heating and cooling. The Group generated sales of approximately € 1 billion in China last year, one third of its total sales.
Webasto also announced that it is researching the development of batteries for electric cars and their associated charging stations. For this purpose, a technical cooperation agreement was signed with Samsung SDI, a leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Webasto has set up a new business unit called E-Solutions for this area. This is to deal exclusively with the production of battery systems and charging stations. Webasto is aimed primarily at manufacturers who do not develop or produce their own battery systems. Similar to convertible roofs, the proven sales principle and the good cooperation with car manufacturers are expected to provide solid growth opportunities. They expect a market share of 30 to 40% as a supplier of batteries for electric cars. The development of electromobility in China is an advantage for Webasto. The government and many Chinese cities are promoting the development and registration of electric cars with new laws and subsidies.
Electric cars need China CCC certification, even if they are produced locally in China.
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