Stephan Wöllenstein CEO of VGC
Stephan Wöllenstein CEO of VGC

More than 2,000 Volkswagen dealerships across China have reopened, and the Chinese public is responding with strong interest. Showroom foot traffic is rivaling numbers from March 2019, Volkswagen announced on its website this week. Volkswagen Group China (VGC) is the best-selling brand in China today by sales and sold around 4.23 million cars in the Chinese market in 2019.

Volkswagen's joint venture, SAIC Volkswagen, has operated in China since 1984. SAIC Volkswagen, which includes the production of cars, parts, components and internal systems, is also back in full swing with 32 of 33 of the group's car and component plants operating again. VGC imports and produces in China the brands Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley, and Lamborghini, mainly for sale in China.

Stephan Wöllenstein, the CEO of VGC, said via the company’s website, “Hope is returning to the Chinese market, as we are experiencing a certain normalization of business. In 2020, highlights like the start of MEB production and the introduction of the Volkswagen ID. model family still lie ahead.”

This bodes well for the reopening of the U.S. car market.

Volkswagen of America has marked the start of construction for its electric vehicle production facility in Chattanooga. The site, when production begins in 2022, will be Volkswagen’s North American assembly base for electric vehicles.

Volkswagen Group of America executives joined Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee; Germany Ambassador to the U.S., Emily Haber: plant leaders, production employees and community leaders at the plant for the groundbreaking.

Volkswagen’s investment of about $800 million in the facility will add about 1,000 jobs. The expansion of the plant includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine vehicles as well as battery electric vehicles on the same assembly line.

Digital Motors, an automotive retail and financial technology firm, has teamed up with Hinrich J. Woebcken, former president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.  Digital Motors operates a proprietary digital retailing platform that enables dealers to provide a revolutionary car-buying experience.

Woebcken, who will serve in a senior advisor role,  is a board member, investor and advisor to companies in the automotive and related tech industries. He also advises private equity funds on large M&A transactions. Most recently, Woebcken was president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. Previously, Woebcken has spent 30 years in the automotive and manufacturing industries, as well as nearly 10 years with BMW in senior executive positions.

Volkswagen Group of America Inc. is recalling 27,822 2015-16 Tiguan and CC vehicles.

The air bag electronic control unit (ECU) may have a defective power supply capacitor that can result in air bag deactivation or inadvertent deployment of the air bags.

Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will install new software and replace the air bag ECU as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Sept. 13.

Volkswagen's number for this recall is 69Z5.

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