Europeans are confronted with a growing number of Chinese brands present on the continent. But few know that the windshield on their cars was made by Russians working for Fuyao Group.
Fuyao, the world's leading manufacturer of auto glass, is now steadily increasing production in its Russian subsidiary to meet growing demands from global auto makers in Europe.
"We expect our sales revenue to reach billions of rubles this year, representing a surge from 2016," said Xie Zhi, vice president of Fuyao Russia.
The Russian subsidiary is Fuyao's first overseas venture with a total investment of some 200 million U.S. dollars. It began production in 2013 with a designed annual capacity of 3 million car sets.
Surrounded by lush trees, the 130,000-square-meter Fuyao compound is located in an industrial park in Kaluga Oblast, about 160 km southwest of Moscow. Beside it sits a huge Volkswagen plant, which relies heavily on Fuyao auto glass.
In Fuyao's enormous workshop, Russian employees in dark blue uniform work next to yellow industrial robots at the production line. Shuttling forklifts swiftly move wooden boxes of glass products from the production line to transport trucks.
"We decided to invest in Russia because the auto market here is big and we can supply our products to other European countries as well," Xie said, adding that Russia is interested in Chinese investment and local authorities are always ready to lend a hand to Fuyao.
Chinese-Russian economic and trade cooperation has been expanding rapidly over recent years within the BRICS framework, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China's direct investment in Russia topped 14 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2016, holding its position as Russia's fourth largest investment source.
Alexander Fokin, a logistics manager at Fuyao Russia visited Beijing, Shanghai and the company's headquarters in east China's Fuqing City during a regular training tour.
"I get along with my Chinese colleagues and I like working in Fuyao because I can grow together with the company," said Fokin, who has been with Fuyao Russia from the beginning.
Fokin is one of the Russian employees that account for some 90 percent of the workforce.
"Fuyao has no specific requirements when hiring ordinary workers. Instead, we attach great significance to and spend great effort training them," Xie said.
According to Xie, an ordinary worker could earn about 30,000 rubles (more than 500 dollars) a month, a higher-than-average wage in the industry.
Vladimir Panishchev from Uzbekistan has been working in Fuyao Russia for four years. He lives with his wife and twin sons in the company's dormitory, where he only needs to pay for utilities.
"I love my job and I feel happy here," he said.
There’s something that some other emerging countries could learn from this fully-inclusive approach…