FAW-Volkswagen, one of Volkswagen's main Chinese joint ventures, has opened a new US$240m proving ground in Changchun, in the country's northeastern province of Jilin.

The company launched the first stage of the project this week, which covers an area of 6 sq km and a total road length of over 60 km with 26 special and 15 normal test sections replicating Chinese road conditions, according to local reports. The centre offers facilities for vehicle durability tests, airbag effectiveness, high-speed loop and dynamic and performance testing among others.

The second stage of the project is expected to be up and running by March 2020.

The new centre will help FAW-Volkswagen strengthen its local R&D capabilities and deepen collaboration between the two partners, according to Qin Huanming, a member of FAW Group's board of directors.

The company was established in 1991 and currently operates five light vehicle production plants across China for the Volkswagen, Audi and Jetta brands, with a combined output of more than 2 million vehicles last year.

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