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ZF launches new auto plant in Hai Phong

Released at: 07:00, 10/11/2019

ZF launches new auto plant in Hai Phong

Photos: ZF

Mr. Michael Hankel, Member of the Board of Management at ZF Friedrichshafen AG, spoke with VET about the company's new plant and strategy at the inauguration ceremony on November 8 in northern city.

by Minh Do

How would you comment on Vietnam’s automobile manufacturing industry?

Mr. Michael Hankel..

Vietnam’s motor car industry is one of the fastest growing in Southeast Asia. With its Hai Phong site, ZF takes its first local step into this market, following demand from an exciting new customer - VinFast - founded in 2017 as the first Vietnamese automotive manufacturer and which relies on ZF as one of its main chassis technology suppliers.

The local industry may still be small compared to European markets or the US but it is growing fast. Some sources assume growth rates of around 15 per cent for the next few years. Why? So far, the local market has been dominated by international manufacturers. This might be about to change. With VinFast, the very first domestic car manufacturer has entered the stage. Founded two years ago, it launched its first models this summer.

Can you tell us about the production capacity at this first factory, including the automation system?

The Hai Phong plant exemplifies ZF’s local-for-local strategy. On approximately 44.000 sq m right next to the customer’s facility, the plant is designed and equipped to produce chassis module sets just-in-time at a rate of 38 jobs per hour. Series production already started at the end of July - just a little over a year since establishing the customer relationship. ZF invested about 25 million euro ($28 million) into this first Vietnamese production site.

The facility is located at the 70-ha supplier park of the VinFast Manufacturing Automobile and Escooter Plant on Cat Hai Island in Hai Phong.

Are there any obstacles in hiring skilled workers in Vietnam?

We are happy that we started with a great team here in Vietnam, as this is of main importance when starting and running a plant. We have skilled experts as well as competent Vietnamese employees in all our required fields, such as Logistics, Production, Quality, and Human Resources.”

What are your business plans to develop in Vietnam by 2023?

This cooperation offers ZF the unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new market. We are proud to embark on this journey together with VinFast right here in Hai Phong.

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