The SAIC-Volkswagen production plant in Anting, China has been completed, and it has been built purely for the manufacture of the company’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) electric vehicles. The start of pre-production has been marked by the rolling out of the first China-specific Volkswagen ID. model, while series production of pure EVs at the Anting facility is set for October 2020.

“The Volkswagen Group projects a total volume of 22 million all-electric cars worldwide by 2028, with more than 50% of that from China. The country plays a crucial part in our electrification strategy, which will pave the way to Volkswagen’s goal of becoming net carbon-neutral by 2050,” said Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess.

This commencement at the plant in China comes just a few days after global ID.3 manufacturing began in Zwickau, Germany, a manufacturing site that has €1.2 billion so far invested in it and is scheduled to produce 100,000 electric vehicles next year, said the company.

Though the Anting plant will start with the production of said China-specific MEB model, it will also produce MEB-based EV models from other brands within the Volkswagen Group, the company said. This facility will grow China production to 15 MEB models from different brands by 2025, it added.

The Anting plant for the SAIC-Volkswagen joint venture will be complemented by another production facility by another joint venture, FAW-Volkswagen in Foshan, China, and the two manufacturing plants will provide a combined production capacity of 600,000 units per year, the company said.

Leading the thrust of fully electric models from Volkswagen is the ID.3, which was launched just ahead of this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September. This will be launched ‘almost simlutaneously’ in markets across Europe in the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2020, said Volkswagen, with 35,000 reservations already booked with paid deposits, it added. Three versions of the ID.3 were offered at launch, topped by the Max variant with a 77 kWh battery pack for a range of 550 km on the WLTP cycle.

GALLERY: Volkswagen ID. 3 debut in Frankfurt