Day 9: VW and Suzhou Industrial Park

After a delay due to the non acceptance of international credit cards in the hotel check out in the JinJiang Hotel we finally arrived at Shanghai Automotives Volkswagen (SVW) by bus. We were impressed by the sheer size of the plant. The tour of the company was very well organized and structured and started by a video presentation which explained the history of SVW. Unfortunately the whole visit was not very personal as the Secretary left the room.

Volkswagen was one of the first companies after the opening of China that started a joint venture to produce cars for the Chinese market. The success of the joint venture can be seen by the presence of the VW Santana in almost every street. Furthermore there have been many models and versions of the VW Santana which were specially developed for the Chinese Market by Chinese and German Engineers of SVW.

After the movie we had the chance to participate a guided tour on electro cars with voice comments of the driver. Unfortunately the tour started at the end of the production plant and guided us towards the beginning. The production machines were mostly of German origin. Overall, the facilities seemed very clean and well structured and it was very intresting to se the production line up-close. Surprisingly we did not have had the chance for a Q&A-Session.

Afterwards, we left Shanghai for the busride to the Shuzou industrial park. The size of this high-end Industrial park and the infrastructure represents the masterplan of the key investors Shanghai and China very clearly. The purpose of SIP is to create a hub of high-tech companies altogether with work and life space for expatriates and local workforce, comparable to Silicon Valley. We first had the chance to get a brief introduction into the facts and figures of the park by two representatives of SIP. This was followed by a short sight-seening from the top floor of the administrational building. The business model was built on the idea that the investors (Singapore and the Chinese Government) provide the perfect environment to attract companies from all over the world. Thus the investors get their revenues from rents for offices, apartments, golf courts ect. In order to attract companies SIP offers incentives such as a social security system (comparable to the BVG in Switzerland) which is unique in china. Overall there is still huge potential for the future of the park and many more projects are already planned. After this jaw dropping visit, we headed to the hotel in Hangzhou where we had individual dinner.

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