The German supplier Webasto has opened a new battery centre in Jiaxing. The Chinese plant also produces roof systems. Jiaxing is the eleventh Webasto site in China – and not the first on the subject of electromobility.
Since last fall, Webasto has also been producing electric heating systems and charging stations for the Chinese market at the Wuhan plant. According to the company, the new centre in Zhejiang province offers opportunities for technical testing, prototype construction and production. According to Webasto, this will enable it to supply its customers in China with complete battery systems.
“With the opening of our new location in Jiaxing, we are continuing to consistently pursue the implementation of our dual strategy of strengthening our core business with roofs and expanding our new business area with solutions for electromobility in China,” says Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Webasto Board of Management.
Currently, Webasto employs 200 people in Jiaxing, and the workforce is expected to grow to 460 by the end of this year. However, it is not clear from the notification how many people are employed in the roof production with a production capacity of 1.5 million roofs per year and how many in the battery centre. According to Webasto, the entire site covers an area of around 44,000 square metres, of which 9,600 square metres are accounted for by the Battery Centre. The test facilities there will be able to test cells, modules and entire battery packs “under extreme temperatures and violent movements”. Webasto hopes to use the results to test its battery systems following the requirements of local customers and authorities.
The supplier also manufactures battery packs in Germany, but the cells are supplied by Samsung SDI. However, no cell supplier for Chinese projects is mentioned in the current announcement. The German company does not want to be deterred by the recently more difficult NEV market in China. “Despite the challenges of the market, we see further growth potential for Webasto here,” said Engelmann at the opening ceremony in Jiaxing.
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