Second "Protect Childhood, Child Safety First" China Child Road Safety Forum Takes Place Volkswagen Group China Donates RMB 10 Million to set up Child Safety Fund

The second “Protect Childhood, Child Safety First” China Child Road Safety Forum, jointly organized by China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF) and Volkswagen Group China, took place today in Beijing. At the event, Volkswagen Group China announced the official establishment of the Volkswagen Group China Child Safety Fund with CWDF and the donation of RMB 10 million to the fund as start-up funding for sustainable mobility education, community development and other charitable causes contributing to the safety, wellbeing and healthy development of children.

The event was attended by, among others, Zhen Yan, Deputy Director of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Subcommittee for Social and Legal Affairs and Vice President CWDF, Qin Guoying, Vice President and Secretary-General of CWDF, and Dr. Zhang Suixin, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and JV Relations, Volkswagen Group China.

“Child road safety is the most important part of child safety. It concerns every family and all parents and reflects the level of child protection and transport development in a country,” said Ms. Qin Guoying, Vice President and Secretary-General of CWDF. “As a populous developing country with 239 million children aged between 0 and 15 years and 16.4 million new births every year, and a rapidly growing automobile society with an automobile ownership of 137 million, China has a heavy task and a long way to go in child road safety. This calls for concerted efforts from related government departments and private sector organizations.”

“As the earliest multinational car group to enter the Chinese market, Volkswagen Group considers itself as an integral part of the Chinese society and is committed to its corporate social responsibility here,” said Dr. Zhang Suixin, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and JV Relations, Volkswagen Group China. “It is our unshrinkable responsibility to publicize and promote road safety and we have made particular efforts to increase child road safety through concrete actions.”

To promote and publicize child road safety, Volkswagen Group China and CWDF have carried out a series of close cooperation. In 2014, they conducted a large-scale field investigation on child road safety in 11 large and medium-sized Chinese cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan etc. According to the results of the investigation, riding private cars has become the main means of mobility for children of families with private cars, and most parents choose to collect information about and purchase child safety seats via the Internet, and the main factors that influence their purchase include brand, price and quality. Although 84.9% of parents surveyed were aware of the necessity to use child safety seats, due to various reasons, such as the mistaken view that “it is safe to hold a child in the arms in the car”, and inconvenience of installation, only 17.8% equipped their cars with child safety seats, and those who actually used child safety seats only accounted for 11.5%, far lower than the over 90% in developed countries such as the U.S. and European countries. As children increasingly participate in traffic, child road safety has gained growing attention, with 68.9% of parents supporting legislation on compulsory use of child safety seats to protect child road safety.

The investigation has been the largest ever field investigation on child road safety in China and holds important practical significance for improving the child road safety conditions in the country.

As an industry leader and responsible corporate citizen, Volkswagen Group China has taken on its shoulder the task to publicize and promote child road safety through concrete actions. In 2013, partnering with its two joint-ventures, Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, utilizing six brands Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Porsche and Bentley, Volkswagen Group China, launched the Volkswagen Group Child Safety Initiative. As of the end of 2014, Volkswagen Group China had donated more than 5,000 child safety seats to families nationwide, and the initiative had expanded to cover 17 cities.

In 2015, Volkswagen Group China plans to further upgrade the initiative by expanding it to 100 cities across China. In addition to establishing experience centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Dalian and holding road shows in Qingdao, Taiyuan, Hefei, Nanchang and Kunming, Volkswagen Group China will continue to donate child safety seats and conduct field investigations, taking concrete actions to popularize the use of child safety seats, improve public awareness of child road safety, and drive child road safety legislation in China.