Stockdorf/Wuhan – September 7, 2019 – As part of a two-day trip to China, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, accompanied by a top-level German business delegation, visited the new location of automotive supplier Webasto in the city of Wuhan (Hubei Province). Together with the Mayor of the city, Xianwang Zhou, and Dr. Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Management Board, Webasto SE, Merkel gave the starting sign for the production of roof systems, high-voltage heaters and charging solutions in what is now the company’s largest plant on September 7, 2019.
After the opening ceremony, the Chancellor was given a guided tour to gain an insight into the German automotive supplier’s development and production processes as well as its strategic further development. Engelmann stated: “Webasto has been the market leader for sunroofs and panorama roofs in China for years – and worldwide. Since we have reached the limits of our capacity at our old plant in Wuhan and expect further growth, we have invested about 50 million euros in a new location. It is also the first Chinese Webasto plant in which we will produce solutions for the electromobility in addition to roof systems. We see very good opportunities to establish ourselves as an innovative systems partner to the automotive industry in China in this area as well”.
Webasto’s largest production site worldwide
Webasto has been manufacturing roofs for Chinese automobile manufacturers and joint ventures in this area of business at the industrial center Wuhan since 2014. After moving from a rented property to a site owned by the company itself and tripling the capacity, the new plant is currently the Webasto Group’s largest production site worldwide. On 41,000 square meters, sunroofs and panorama roofs as well as electric heating systems and charging stations for electric vehicles are manufactured. The plant offers capacities for the production of about two million roof systems per year. In addition, more than 1.2 million electric heating systems and 600,000 charging stations can be manufactured there each year.
Webasto has been active in China since 2001. Since then, the people’s republic has developed into the company’s largest market with sales of about 1.3 billion euros in 2018. Webasto currently has about 3,500 employees at ten locations in China, to date mainly producing car roofs of which more and more are large panorama roofs. The ramp-up of production in an eleventh plant in Jiaxing is planned by the end of this year. In addition to roofs, Webasto will also develop, test and produce battery systems for the Chinese market there.