Audi, with Volkswagen Automatic Transmission Tianjin (VWATJ), has opened a new automatic transmission plant in China.
The plant, in the northern harbour city of Tianjin, will supply seven-speed S-tronic transmissions for the new locally made, extended-wheelbase A4 L and other locally produced models.
Audi will produce 240,000 transmissions annually at the new facility which will employ over 1,000 people at full capacity. A modular production set-up means the company can double the plant’s capacity later phase.
“With our first local transmission plant, we have brought another key Audi competence to China,” said Joachim Wedler, president of Audi China. “The transmission production in Tianjin marks a milestone in our localisation strategy.”
The factory is “sustainable” with, among other things, a heat recovery system and a roof that designed to save power through “intelligent use of daylight”.
The new transmission will be used in models based on Audi’s second-generation modular longitudinal platform (MLB). Combined with the 2.0TFSI petrol engine, the gearbox contributes to the claimed class-leading efficiency and performance of the A4 L, VW said. The new generation premium mid-size sedan will be launched in China in September with CO2 emissions claimed to be the lowest in its segment.
Volkswagen Group has produced dual clutch transmissions for models based on the modular transverse platform (MQB) in China since 2014. The production start in Tianjin marks the completion of the second phase of the Volkswagen ATJ joint venture. Audi (49%) and Volkswagen Group China (51%) are both shareholders in the supplier.
“Volkswagen automatic transmission Tianjin creates synergies between the group brands, further strengthening them,” said Jochem Heizmann, president of Volkswagen Group China.
Audi has been in China since 1988 and has since led the country’s premium segment. The joint venture FAW Volkswagen produces the A6 L, A4 L, Q5 and Q3 in Changchun in northern China. A joint venture plant in Foshan in south China produces the A3 Sportback and the A3 sedan.