Audi’s Chinese workers train in Brussels for e-tron production
Around 140 Chinese workers from the FAW-VW joint venture will pass through Audi’s plant in Forest/Vorst. They will learn the specific electric mobility know-how acquired by Belgian workers and train to assemble the new Audi e-tron. Models dedicated to the Chinese market will be built in the Changchun plant in northern China.
This summer, around fifty Chinese workers started walking the allies of Brussels’ Audi plant. Wearing their beige uniform marked FAW-VW, they’re employed by the joint venture originating from Volkswagen and the oldest Chinese carmaker, FAW (First Automobile Works).
e-tron Chinese production
In total, 140 workers will pass through the Audi Brussels plant to learn the ins and outs of the Audi e-tron production. They will especially train in the specific assembly of an electric car and to work with high-voltage components. Building the brand’s first EV, the Forest/Vorst plant is regarded as Audi’s EV excellence center.
However, there’s no question of outsourcing the production. FAW’s plant, located in Changchun, Northern China, will only produce e-trons dedicated to the Chinese market. The rest of the world’s production will still originate from Brussels.
Watch and learn
These workers – 40% are engineers, and the rest are assembly operators – will have the important task of relating what they have learned to their colleagues. That being said, they won’t touch a single production car coming out of the assembly line. Specific learning workshops have been set-up for that matter.
“They have learning visas that were already hard to obtain. They’re not here to work,” explains the plant’s General Secretary, Andreas Cremer. “Our Chinese colleagues can only watch and learn. They cannot interfere with the operators. They take notes and ask questions. They must especially learn about safety when working with high voltage. There are a lot of questions about it. They also look at retouching for quality,” explains Pascal Godart, foreman at Audi Brussels.