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VW Group to develop BEVs, PHEVs with SAIC

Three plug-in models and two EVs on the slate under collaboration between VW and SAIC

8 Jul 2024

VOLKSWAGEN Group plans to codevelop three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with China’s SAIC under the terms of a series of new technical agreements signed this week.


The agreement was signed to mark the 40th anniversary of the joint venture between the duo, and according to SAIC will result in the production of five new energy vehicles that will go on sale from 2026 through 2030.


SAIC did not specify which segment the models will fall into, however it is noted the firm already produces VW models based on MEB architecture, essentially amounting to rebadged versions of Volkswagen’s ID.3 and ID.4 models.


“(The agreement will) jointly technologically strengthen the joint venture and open a new chapter of joint venture cooperation,” said SAIC in a press release.


“As pioneers, we have successfully introduced seven major technology bases to create a new technological life body with a strong heart, a strong body, and an intelligent brain for the future,” said SAIC Motor chair Chen Hong.


“We will continue to work together to strengthen SAIC-Volkswagen with technology and adhere to market orientation, technological innovation, and win-win cooperation.


“China’s automotive industry is completing the role change from ‘following’ to ‘running parallel’ and then to ‘leading’,” he announced.


The agreement represents the latest effort by Volkswagen Group to better engage with manufacturers in regions including China to accelerate the development of electrified vehicles.


Earlier in the year, Volkswagen Group penned a similar deal with SAIC to jointly create an intelligent electric vehicle platform, called the Audi Advanced Digitised Platform, for Audi. The first vehicle to stem from that project will begin in 2025, according to SAIC-Volkswagen.


Based in Shanghai, SAIC-Volkswagen builds and markets petrol-powered vehicles for Volkswagen Group, including those badged as Audi, Skoda, and VW. It also produces and distribute electrified models for Audi and Volkswagen.


Noting its growing interests in the region, Volkswagen Group also disclosed plans to develop two compact battery electric vehicles with Chinese brand Xpeng after purchasing a 4.99 per cent stake in the start-up this February.


Speaking at this week’s announcement, Volkswagen Group China managing director Ralf Brandstatter said, “We are doing everything we can to drive forward our electrification strategy and have formulated a clear roadmap”.


“China’s electric vehicle market is dynamic and highly competitive. It is of great importance for us to further strengthen the strategic cooperation with SAIC and push forward the development of electrification.


“We are expanding the range of all-electric, intelligently connected vehicles and focusing on accelerating the offering in the continuously growing plug-in hybrid vehicle segment to provide consumers with a more attractive product choice.”

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