At present the Volkswagen produces 20 car models in China, as well as importing 50 more. By 2015, when a further two factories will have opened, the number of models produced on-site is expected to rise to 30 and the number of imports to 60.
Chinese law requires foreign investors to set up joint ventures with local companies to prevent businesses from abroad from dominating the market.
One of the plants Volkswagen is planning to open by September is located in Ürümqi in the remote north-western restive region of Xinjiang, which is populated by the Uyghur Muslim minority. They claim to be suppressed by the government – which in turn accuses members of the community of involvement in terrorist activities.
According to head of Volkswagen’s Chinese operations, the company had established clear strategies to employ people from all sectors of the population.