Webasto Celebrates its
20th Birthday in China
In 2001, Webasto opened its first Chinese location in Shanghai. The company is now represented in all centers of the country's automotive industry and China has been Webasto's largest single market for years. Employees, customers, suppliers and government representatives celebrated the anniversary with a hybrid event.
Stockdorf / Shanghai – November 12, 2021 – Around 3,000 Webasto colleagues and guests were present at the Shanghai site or joined via live-stream to celebrate '20 years of Webasto China' together on November 12, 2021. On the occasion of the event, Holger Engelmann, Chairman of the Management Board of the company, emphasized: "Without our growth in China, the Webasto Group would not be where it is today. The positive development of demand for our products has made China our current largest single market. Our success in the region has enabled us to invest massively in new technologies and the further development of our employees around the world to consistently align Webasto with the mobility of tomorrow." In 2020, China accounted for around 40 percent of the Group's sales. Despite the current highly volatile situation, Engelmann sees good future opportunities in the region. "Our dual strategy of strengthening our core business and developing new business areas is also working in China. The decision to enter the electromobility market has given our China business additional dynamics," he said.
Webasto’s – compared to other automotive suppliers – early market entry in China at the beginning of the millennium was an advantage. With its own production facilities, local suppliers and a good industry network, Webasto was initially able to establish itself quickly as a supplier of roof systems in China. After the business in the region had developed rather moderately in the first few years, Webasto subsequently benefited from the rapid growth of the Chinese vehicle market and from the strongly rising interest in openable car roofs. In the meantime, the company has also succeeded in entering the electromobility market in China: with high-voltage heaters, charging solutions and battery systems – in other words, with its complete new product range. In addition to its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai, Webasto has ten sites wherever vehicles are manufactured in China and employs a total of around 2,700 people in administration, development and production. The customers of Webasto in China include both international car manufacturers and local OEMs.
Successful with roof systems and solutions for electromobility
As a supplier of sunroofs and panorama roofs, Webasto is the market leader in the Chinese market – as it is worldwide. In 2020, the company manufactured 6.6 million roofs in China; worldwide the total was 10.2 million. For the latest innovative development in this product group, the Roof Sensor Module for autonomous driving cars, Webasto has already received its first orders in China in 2021.
Since 2016, customers in China have been able to get electric high-voltage heaters (HVH) in addition to classic parking heaters from Webasto. Until 2019, the systems came from the Webasto plant in Neubrandenburg, Germany, then the company invested in a HVH production at its new site in Wuhan. It is also in Wuhan, where the automotive supplier has been manufacturing charging solutions for the Chinese market since the end of 2019. Moreover, Webasto received its first battery orders in China this year. The series production for these projects will start in 2022 at the Jiaxing plant, which the company opened in early 2020.