Volkswagen AG has expressed concern over the possibility that its Chinese joint venture partner FAW is using some of its patents without authorization. VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn, in an interview with German daily Handelsblatt, said that if these are open questions on patents, the carmaker will discuss them with FAW, adding that the company will not accept the unauthorized use of the patents.
Winterkorn declared that VW will protect its intellectual property rigorously even in China. VW’s CEO disclosed to Handelsblatt that the concerned FAW plants possibly using VW patents are located in Changchun, China. Winterkorn said they will probe into the matter and will examine things on site.
VW’s CEO is currently in China as part of a German delegation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. VW was the first foreign carmaker to have operations in China three decades ago. The carmaker intends to invest EUR14 billion ($17.54 billion) through its joint ventures on new plants and products in China through 2016.
VW will spend around $290 million on a new transmission plant in Tianjin as part of a larger project that could involve EUR927 million of investment, according to a VW official. The investment in Tianjin is expected to generate around 1,400 new jobs.
The groundbreaking of the Tianjin plant is set to take place on Friday. In 2011, VW posted almost an 18 percent increase in vehicle deliveries in China to 2.3 million units. It operates 11 assembly and component plants in the Asian country.