Besides the car launches and test drives, plant tours often happen in the line of work as a motoring hack. Still, some trips are rarer occasions than others and a visit to Bosch’s wiper plant in Changsha, China certainly counts as one.
The invite to visit Bosch’s Changsha plant in China was received with some intrigue here in the Carlist office – between the five of us in the entire team, none of us have ever visited a wiper factory before, and it’s not something we’ve ever thought of doing.
Indeed, the city of Changsha itself is not a place any one of us here in the office had heard of before the invite came in – it is not in the same level of prominence as Beijing and Shanghai, or even Chengdu and Tianjin. It is not even among the ten biggest cities in China.
Yet, with a population of 7.4 million spread over nearly 12,000km2 of land area, it is bigger on both counts than Kuala Lumpur and Singapore combined. The Bosch wiper plant has been operating in Changsha for a decade now and according to company officials, we were part of the first media contingent to visit it.
Naturally, Bosch claims that the Changsha plant is run with the same standards, equipment, and processes as its lead automotive wiper plant in Tienen, Belgium.
“We are committed to deliver quality products from our Changsha plant. Robust design, reliable quality, and superior service level are the focal points that we concentrate on to win and maintain customers’ trust,” said Dr Norman Roth, Regional President for Bosch Electrical Drives for Asia Pacific.
To date, Bosch has invited approximately RMB 70 million (approx. RM43.1 million) on the Changsha plant since 2004. The plant utilizes a high degree of automation to achieve consistent product quality. Spanning a total area of 82,000m2, the plant employs 4,640 personnel and has 2,400m2 of floor space dedicated to R&D modelled after the company’s facilities in Belgium.
So, what did we learn from our tour?
Never knew there is this much to learn about wipers eh?