Lego A/S, known around the world for its tiny toy bricks in primary colors, has begun construction on its Jiaxing, China, manufacturing site on a 75-acre plot of land.
When the factory is completed it will include a 377,000-square-foot molding facility with several hundred injection presses capable of molding several billion Lego bricks annually.
The first phase will cover 1.7 million square feet, the company said. The company has not yet disclosed the investment, describing it as a three-digit-million euro amount, including molding, processing and packaging facilities.
“The plant is currently under construction, and will be fully operational by 2017 — however first production will start before that time naturally,” spokesman Roar Rude Trangbæk said.
A news release from Lego says the Jiaxing site's new packaging facility should go into operation this year.
The company has plans for possible future expansion at the site, including the potential to double its molding capacity.
The new factory will employ more than 1,500 by 2017, Lego said. The facility will be in addition to the Lego's current production facilities in Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic and Mexico.
A main China office opened last year in Shanghai in anticipation of the Jiaxing plant opening. About 80 Lego employees began working there, and that number will increase by the end of the year.
China is an important market for the brand, Trangbæk said. As China's economy develops, he said, more families are joining the upper middle class and he anticipates more demand for Lego products. He would not elaborate on specific targets for the Asia market, only saying “We have an ambition of reaching more children across all of Asia in future, and see Asia as a region that will be comparable to our current core markets such as North America and Europe.”