FAW-Volkswagen employees work on an assembly line at the automaker’s Tianjin plant. [Provided to China Daily]

CHANGCHUN – Sino-German joint venture FAW-Volkswagen continues to hold a leading position in the world’s largest auto market and eyes a rosy future.

Dr Andre Stoffels, FAW-Volkswagen first vice-president (Finance), made the remarks during a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the company’s establishment in Changchun, capital of China’s Jilin province. Over the past decades, FAW-Volkswagen has grown into one of the best-selling passenger vehicle manufacturers in China.

Stoffels attributed the company’s booming development to the sound business environment in Jilin.

A stable industry and supply chain, a great number of talent and a friendly auto ecosystem in Changchun rendered it much easier to set up auto manufacturing plants here, he noted.

In 2020, the company’s vehicle sales rose 1.5 percent year-on-year to over 2.16 million units. In the first quarter of 2021, its vehicle sales soared 72 percent year-on-year to 580,529 units, according to the company.

China is already the leading auto market and will continue to be the world’s largest auto market in the future,” said Stoffels.

In recent years, the market share of new energy vehicles (NEVs) is expanding in China. In 2020, sales of NEVs in China went up 10.9 percent year-on-year to 1.37 million units.

In Stoffels’s opinion, the better-than-expected NEVs sales came amid the country’s efforts to encourage their use and ease pressure on the environment, which has enhanced the market enthusiasm for eco-friendly cars.

“FAW-Volkswagen is actively promoting carbon emission-free production in its manufacturing sites in China,” he said.

Stoffels spoke highly of China’s opening-up policies, saying that opening up has not only brought foreign capital but new ideas and concepts into China.

Stoffels also praised the efficient epidemic prevention and control measures against COVID-19 taken by China’s central and local governments.

As a big company, FAW-Volkswagen has not reported any infection of COVID-19 among its employees, he said, adding that China’s epidemic prevention and favorable financial measures “support us during this time of crisis.”

“We were among the first companies to ramp up production after the epidemic,” said Stoffels, adding that as global auto brands are turning their eyes to the booming Chinese auto market, FAW-Volkswagen will strive to keep its leading position in China.

Chinese automaker FAW Group sold over 1 million vehicles in the first quarter of this year, a 74.3 percent year-on-year surge. Founded in 1953 in Changchun, FAW Group is seen as the cradle of China’s auto industry.