NINGBO, (Xinhua) -- Shanghai Volkswagen, a joint venture between Volkswagen and China's SAIC Motor, opened a new plant on Thursday in the city of Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province.
Annual production is expected to reach 300,000 units by the end of next year, said general manager, Hu Yimin.
The first vehicle assembled on Thursday was a Skoda Superb: Other cars produced at the plant will be determined according to the company's development plan, said Hu.
With a total investment of 11.7 billion yuan (1.9 billion U.S. dollars), the plant covers a total area of 187 hectares.
The plant is located in Ningbo, only two hours' drive from the Shanghai headquarters, because of the complete auto part supply chain, the geographical advantage, sound economic foundations and investment environment.
Volkswagen (China) and its two Chinese joint ventures -- Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen -- sold a record number of 2.81 million motor vehicles to Chinese customers in 2012, up 24.5 percent year on year.
FAW Volkswagen is the joint venture of FAW Group Corporation, Volkswagen, and Volkswagen Automobile Investment Co. Ltd.