Volkswagen Group has started producing its dual-clutch transmission at its new site in Tianjin, China. VW invested EUR265 million (CHY2 billion) into the plant, which has the capacity to build up to 450,000 units of the carmaker’s direct-shift gearboxes (DSG) annually, and eventually 1.2 million units by 2016. VW intends to set up a test center in Tianjin in 2016 for all DSGs built in China.
The carmaker opened its first Chinese DSG site in Dalian, China in 2010 and has been using these transmissions mostly in locally built VW and Skoda models. In 2013, Volkswagen had to call back 384,181 vehicles fitted with the DSGs in China following reports from some owners over abnormal vibrations, loss of power and sudden acceleration.
VW also had to implement smaller recalls in Japan, Singapore and Australia. A dual-clutch gearbox works like two automatic transmissions side by side.
While one clutch serves the odd gears and reverse, and the other serves the even gears. Dual-clutch technology has been proven to provide better fuel economy than automatic transmissions. VW Group posted a 14-percent surge in deliveries in China to 3.03 million vehicles in the first 10 months of 2014.