Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort of Denmark attended the ceremony marking the construction start of the factory in Jiaxing, China, which by 2017 will supply LEGO® products to all of Asia.
In early 2013 the LEGO Group announced plans to build and operate its own production facility in Jiaxing, China. Today, April 27th the construction of the factory which will supply products for the growing Asian market was initiated by the Queen of Denmark as Her Majesty revealed the founding stone of the new factory which is planned to employ 1,500 people by 2017.
The participation from the Queen and The Prince Consort was a part of a state visit from Denmark to China. Among others Dan Jørgensen, the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark and Friis Arne Petersen, Ambassador of Denmark to China participated, while China was represented by the Governor of Zhejiang Province.
“Since the founding of the LEGO Group in 1932 it has been the vision of the founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen and his grandson – the current owner – Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen to develop and manufacture play materials of the highest quality. All the LEGO® bricks we make live up to the strictest global safety and quality standards – and at the same time they deliver endless hours of fun and creative play to children all over the world,” said Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, President and CEO of the LEGO Group to the hundreds of participants at the site of the factory, where a huge LEGO model of the new factory was also revealed.
Close to the consumers
The factory is being built in the city Jiaxing, right in the middle of the Yangtze River Delta and located approximately 100 km from Shanghai where the LEGO Group will have its central distribution center for Asia.
“We believe the location is perfect in regards to both recruiting and securing the best environment for future LEGO employees. The new production site which will include moulding, decoration and packaging facilities provides us with a long term supply base for future growth in Asia,“ said Michael McNulty, Senior Vice President, Asia Manufacturing, adding:
“The three digit million Euro investment in the factory sends a strong signal that we see Jiaxing and China as a long-term manufacturing base for the LEGO Group together with the other LEGO factories around the world.”
The Jiaxing facility is designed and will be built to the same global standards as all LEGO factories in the world and with a high focus on integrating sustainable solutions where possible – from recycling and reusing waste and water to minimizing the energy consumption.
“In addition, we focus on creating a very safe work environment. We believe that our employees all over the world should be able to come to work and return home to their families safely, and we want highly engaged employees who see our values and culture in action every day. This also goes for the many new LEGO colleagues who in time will work in Jiaxing,” said Michael McNulty.
Product quality and safety are top priorities
LEGO products are developed in Denmark by more than 180 designers of more than 24 nationalities at the LEGO Group Headquarters in the town of Billund, where the company was founded in 1932. However the products are manufactured globally at LEGO Group owned and operated factories.
“Having this full control of the entire production process is essential to deliver products of a consistent high quality and safety and in harmony with our values,” said Bali Padda, Executive Vice President and COO of the LEGO Group.
The new factory in China will be an addition to the LEGO Group’s current production facilities in Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic and Mexico, and it will be built and run with the same technology, automation and standards for product quality.
“Every LEGO brick we manufacture lives up to the strictest safety standards globally – no matter if it is made in Denmark, Hungary, Mexico – or in future here in China. The new factory in Jiaxing will ensure that we can deliver high quality and safe play experiences to even more children in Asia in future,” said Bali Padda.