It's well known by now that the enormous growth in the car population in China over the past decade and a half has put serious environmental pressure on cities there and dramatically increased gasoline consumption. Volkswagen was one of the first western car-makers to get involved in building cars there through their joint-venture with First Auto Works. Now VW wants to help clean up the air and reduce gas consumption. Volkswagen has already invested €80 million toward a total of €145 million by 2011 in a new plant to build their TFSI engines. The plant will have a capacity of 300,000 engines when completed. By installing the new engines and modern electronically controlled automatic transmissions they expect to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by twenty percent compared to current models.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Volkswagen launches new initiative to reduce fuel consumption in China

Environmentally friendly powertrain strategy presented at inauguration of new engine plant in Dalian

Dalian/Beijing, 30 March 2007 - Volkswagen announced new environmental goals for China at the inauguration of the engine plant in Dalian. These goals envisage a reduction of over 20 percent in fuel consumption and emissions for models built at the plants operated by the two joint ventures FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen by 2010. Volkswagen intends to become the most environmentally friendly automaker in China with the help of modern TFSI engines, innovative automatic gearboxes, lightweight design and further initiatives. So far, some 80 million euros has been invested in the new engine plant, and total investment until 2011 amounts to roughly 145 million euros. The plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 300,000 engines.

Environmental protection was the central theme at today's opening ceremony of the Volkswagen engine plant in China. As Dr. Winfried Vahland, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, emphasized: "As the market leader in China we have an obligation to ensure that growth is compatible with the environment while also keeping ahead of government regulations."

Volkswagen intends to cut fuel consumption and emissions in China by more than 20 percent by 2010 through the introduction of the innovative TFSI engine technology and a new generation of automatic gearboxes as well as lightweight design for individual vehicle components. In addition, the company is currently arranging for the certification of all production sites in China to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.

Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen have already been complying with the standard for several years, the FAW-Volkswagen powertrain components plant was certified in February. The company has undertaken to recognize the ISO 14001 environmental management standard and plans to complete certification of all productions plants in China by the end of 2007.