A white SUV grabbed the attention of passers-by in the lobby of the office building of the Management Committee of China's Changzhou National Hi-Tech District. The Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 is one of the prototype cars rolling off the production line at Dongfeng Motor's facility in Changzhou. The Changzhou facility plans to put the model into mass production in October 2015. The automobile manufacturing plant is one of the five major projects brought into Changzhou National Hi-Tech District during 2014.
In July 2014, Dongfeng Motor signed an agreement with the government of Changzhou to build a manufacturing facility in the city, while the Changzhou division of Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile was established in September. The upgraded production line will be equipped with high-end automated equipment including transfer robots, automatic die-changing devices and painting robots, in a move to create a world-class automobile production plant.
Changzhou National Hi-Tech District also signed agreements with Genovate Biotechnology (for an insulin production facility), New Solar, Chart Cryogenic Equipment and Yupei Logistics Property Development in 2014. Construction of the facilities represented by the four deals is underway. During the first half of 2015, total investment in the district's 115 major projects reached 15.5 billion yuan (approx. US$2.4 billion), accounting for 53 percent of the district's annual target, with construction of the facilities for 81 percent of the projects having already started. Among them, 47 major projects originating from deals signed with the municipal government saw the completion of 7.9 billion yuan (approx. US$1.2 billion) in funding, accounting for 51 percent of the annual target. Construction of the facilities for 17 of the city-related projects, including Pacific Scientific's energy efficient transformer manufacturing plant, is well underway, accounting for 74 percent of all new projects, while the previous round of projects, including Bridgestone's bicycle factory, have been completed and have started outputting product. The main framework for 11 of the manufacturing facilities including Fund Energy, Tian De Power and Chart Cryogenic Equipment has been completed, with production at each of the facilities expected to reach full capacity within the year.