Interrelationships between German and Chinese suppliers have several facets. While some German suppliers are heavily investing in China, others struggling with insolvency are looking for investors in China.
German panorama and sunroofs supplier Webasto, for example, just opened its 8th China production plant for panorama roofs and sunroofs in Chongqing in November 2013. With the investment of $8.7 million, the company sends a clear signal of commitment to its OEM customers who are also continuing their expansion in China.
Based in Munich, Germany, the company opened its China headquarters in Shanghai in 2004 and has built a local network of production plants within the logistic radius of 500 kilometers to customers. By 2014, two more plants in Wuhan and Shenyang will be opened and the number of local employees will rise over the current 2,000.
Chongqing takes the role as gateway to the growing western China. According to the chairman Dr. Holger Engelmann, Webasto expects an annual production number of 700,000 roofs by 2016. The new plant in Chongqing is mutually beneficial. China benefits from new local sources of employment and the German company benefits from the workforce of experienced Chinese employees.
The recent investment by a Chinese company in the German solar company Asola Technologies shows another kind of Chinese-German interrelationship. Faced with financial difficulties Asola has been looking for an investor. Its automotive business was taken over by the newly founded A2 Solar – Advanced and Automotive Systems GmbH. Asola Quantum Solarpower AG went through a complete insolvency to start a new beginning as Asola Technologies. This was made possible by the entry of the Chinese technology partner and investor STGCON New Energy Technologies Co., Ltd. based in Shanghai. Together with STGCON and the American TellusPower, Asola Technologies is summarized in the TUSAI Holding, headquartered in Hong Kong. This merger leads to a wide-ranging worldwide product portfolio that extends from battery storage to solar technology.