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On Thursday the 20th of April 2017, Dr. Sepeuer-Zeitz, Head of the product development department of Volkswagen Shanghai, delivered a speech titled “The future of mobility in China”, in the German Culture Centre. Approximately 30 interested students attended the event.


Professor Zimmer explained in short what the speech will be about in Chinese and German. Subsequently Mr. Hernig introduced the guest speaker in Chinese and German as well. He mentioned, that Dr. Sepeuer-Zeitz was studying at the University of Saarbrücken, where he also reached his doctorate degree. He is working for VW for 17 years now and was sent to Shanghai about one and a half years ago.



Dr. Bernhard


In the beginning Dr. Sepeuer-Zeitz was gicing an overview over the VW groups various brands and it’s history in China. VW has 120 production plants and 626.715 employees worldwide. Including all brands that are connected to the VW group they are currently offering 335 different car models. The VW headquarters are located in Wolfsburg. China is currently the fastest growing market in the automobile industry. That’s the reason why it is crucial for VW to conduct market research in China in order to find out more about the specific demand of Chinese customers. Therefore VW established two research centres in China, a bigger one in Beijing and a smaller one in Shanghai. These research centres work closely together with several Chinese Universities and fund research projects for their own purposes.


In the field of E-mobility VW is trying to present the first electric car for a mass market. Therefore it is necessary to focus on points like weigh reduction, use of materials, battery capacity, safety and costs.



Dr. Bernhard, Prof. Hernig and Prof. Zimmer


Regarding the protection of the environment Dr. Sepeuer-Zeitz mentioned that it makes little sense to use electric cars if the energy they use is still produced in coal power plants because this still pollutes air and environment. The goal of all car companies is to present a zero emission vehicle.


Another trend is autonomous driving. Autonomous driving is an ongoing process which ranges from assisted driving until driverless driving, i.e. a car that drives without human participation or surveillance. This is technically possible but legally not allowed nowadays.



Dr. Bernhard answered the questions


At the end of the speech there was a discussion about cultural differences concerning the acceptance for technical progress in daily life between Germany and China.


There were severeal questions by the students which Dr. Sepeuer-Zeitz answered and after the outro in Chinese and German by Prof. Zimmer and Mr. Hernig the event ended with applause for the guest speaker.

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