Weichai breaks ground on new industrial park development
Weichai Group, a leading Chinese heavy-duty truck and components developer, celebrated the ground- breaking of the Weichai Internation- al Engine Component Industrial Park in the Weifang Hi-Tech Indus- trial Development Zone on July 13.
Twenty global leading automotive parts makers, including Germany’s Knorr-Bremse and United States’ Tyco, have signed agreements to open production sites in the indus- trial park.
More than 1,300 people including representatives from Weichai’s sup- pliers and local governments attended the ceremony.
The 2,000-hectare industrial park, involving more than 200 billion yuan ($29.08 billion) in investment, is projected to have more than 500 auto components suppliers engaged in sectors such as hydrogen fuel cells, smart products and electron- ics. The park will support Weichai’s internationalization and East Chi- na’s Weifang city to become a hub for engine production, according to local officials.
Modern plants, research and development centers, apartments for employees and supportive infra- structure facilities will be set up in the park to better serve businesses. The park will also place a high pri- ority on eco-friendliness, said offi- cials.
According to the Weifang city gov- ernment, the industrial park will have an annual industrial output value of 500 billion yuan. It will attract more than 100 billion yuan worth of investment from Weichai’s suppliers, and the annual tax from these businesses is expected to exceed 30 billion yuan.
The local government has decid- ed to provide all types of support to enterprises in terms of land use, tax- ation, finance and professionals, among others, to promote develop- ment in the industrial park.
Johannes Haeussler, sales direct- or of Wieland Group, one of Wei- chai’s suppliers, said Weichai is a company with strong competitive- ness in global markets. Wieland expects to establish a closer partner- ship with Weichai to enjoy a more flexible products supply model, he said.
Tan Xuguang, chairman of Wei- chai Group, said that as Weifang is the birthplace of Weichai, it has helped the company turn its dream into reality. In return, Weichai will continue to support Weifang’s devel- opment in the upcoming years.
Tan said the industrial park dem- onstrates the Weifang government’s efforts and determination to contin- uously upgrade its business envi- ronment. It also provides Weichai’s management with greater responsi- bilities in terms of supporting the city’s development.
He added that Weichai will fur- ther support Shandong’s efforts in replacing old economic develop- ment drivers with new ones, and seek new growth opportunities in areas such as new energy.
Hui Xin’an, Party secretary of Weifang city, said that all related government departments have to learn from Weichai and further improve their working efficiency to better serve companies in the Wei- fang Hi-Tech Industrial Develop- ment Zone. He hoped companies that agreed to move into Weichai’s industrial park are able to acceler- ate construction so as to launch their operations as quickly as possi- ble.
Weichai Group was originally known as Weifang Diesel Engine Factory when it was established in 1946. It has transformed itself into an international company in recent years, and had an annual sales reve- nue of 230 billion yuan in 2018.
Statistics from Weichai show that the company has invested more than 15 billion yuan in engine devel- opment in the last 10 years. Its engine R&D input accounted for 40 percent of its total R&D expenditure in 2018, compared with 36 percent in 2017 and 32 percent in 2016.
Ten years of continuous input has yielded great returns for the compa- ny, resulting in Weichai controlling the core technology in its power- train development and it being awarded first prize at the 2018 National Science and Technology Progress Awards for its break- throughs in commercial vehicle powertrain development and appli- cations, according to the company.