Chinese automotive company switches focus to clean energy

China Plus Published: 2018-07-30 09:08:47
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Wanxiang Group, a major automotive component manufacturer in Zhejiang Province, is transitioning into an international clean energy company.

Founded in 1969, the Wanxiang Group in east China's Zhejiang Province has successfully transformed itself from a township factory into a major component manufacturer for China's auto industry.

People visit the stand of Wanxiang Group during the 2014 Automechanika Shanghai (AMS) exhibition in Shanghai,December 9, 2014. [Photo: IC]

People visit the stand of Wanxiang Group during the 2014 Automechanika Shanghai (AMS) exhibition in Shanghai,December 9, 2014. [Photo: IC]

Now, the company has embarked on the journey towards producing new energy automobiles.

The manager of Wanxiang Group's Research Institute, Chen Jun, says the powertrain of its latest Karma Series luxury car can be powered by gas, electricity, and solar energy.

"The luxury hybrid automobile is the first type of new energy car produced by our subsidiary in Los Angeles according to American standards. It has undergone testing, and has been mass produced and sold in the United States."

Thanks to China's policy of reform and opening up, over the last 40 years, the Wanxiang Group has transformed from being a small-scale agricultural machinery repair factory into a modern multinational enterprise, with revenues of more than one hundred billion yuan, which is around 15 billion U.S. dollars, and a profit of over ten billion yuan.

In May 2017, the company's Karma series hybrid went on sale to consumers.

The CEO of Wanxiang Group, Lu Weiding, says the company decided to move into the electric vehicle market almost a decade ago.

"Wanxiang has always been devoted to making excellent automotive components. We have always believed that good automotive components are fundamental to China's automobile industry and that the development of automotive components comes ahead of developing a new vehicle."

Chen Jun says the company will invest over 200 billion yuan into building a new research and manufacturing center for new energy vehicle components, batteries, buses, and passenger vehicles, which it is calling its "Innovative Energy Fusion City".

"Traditional patterns of growth are unable to support the realization of our goal of increasing revenue tenfold in our fifth decade. Therefore, the Innovative Energy Fusion City will surely build a platform that can provide solutions to energy problems. Only big industries can sustain robust development."

As the largest Chinese-invested enterprise in Midwest United States, Wanxiang America owns 21 factories, supplying car parts to a large number of US car makers.

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