Volkswagen is the world’s biggest carmaker, China the largest market for electric vehicles. Not surprisingly, the interest at the Group Media Night before the Shanghai Auto Show is very high. Volkswagen has a lot in store on its “second home market”.
China is electrified. Electro-mobility is booming. And the framework conditions are in place, from the charging infrastructure to subsidy programs to the proper legislation. In this way, Volkswagen is driving its e-mobility offensive on its “second home market” with the goal of de-carbonization. The world’s biggest carmaker has a lot in store for the largest automotive market. Understandably, a lot of journalists came to the Group Night on the eve of the Shanghai Auto Show.
China plays Key Role
China plays a central part in the global transformation of the Volkswagen Group and the associated de-carbonization program. Even in 2019, new electric cars will be brought to market. At the end of the year, there will be a total of 14 models. “We take this challenge as consistently as no other manufacturer,” says Herbert Diess. “With our groups e-mobility initiative we are going to kick off the most far-reaching electric offensive our industry has ever seen. We will be launching almost 70 new electric models globally by 2028.”
China offers Perfect Conditions for Electro-Mobility
No other place provides a better environment for the group’s electric car offensive than China. “People’s mindset and governmental policies are more encouraging towards e-cars than in any other country,” says Herbert Diess. “More and more cities support it with special offers.”
In big cities, electric cars are not subjected to driving bans, as is the case for vehicles with conventional engines on certain days. In addition, buyers of electric cars enjoy a faster registration process than those of conventional cars. These are only two advantages of electric cars in China. The country continues to tighten its focus on electro-mobility and Volkswagen helps drive this transformation.
At the auto show, the group’s brands provide a foretaste of the model offensive in China. At the Group Media Night before the show’s opening, the Volkswagen brand showed the ID. ROOMZZ1, a large electric SUV, which will come to the Chinese market as the sixth member of the ID-family, in 2021. For the time being, it will be sold in China exclusively. Audi presented the Ai:me2, a concept for autonomous driving in the tomorrow’s mega-cities. Jetta, Skoda and Porsche also presented their highlights.
More than eleven million electric cars will be built in China by 2028
In China, the market for electric cars is enormous. There, the Volkswagen Group plans to manufacture more than eleven million electric cars as part of its three joint ventures – FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN and JAC Volkswagen – by 2028. Using a new joint venture, Volkswagen is expanding the country’s charging infrastructure, while combining the development activities of the Volkswagen brand and Audi as well the group’s research and development efforts under the roof of the new ONE R&D structure.
“China is the global driver of electro-mobility,” says Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of the Volkswagen Group China. “In contrast with the EU and Germany, China has a very clear stance on industrial policy, making electro-mobility a de facto industrial and socio-political goal. As a result, there have been subsidies for the creation of the respective charging infrastructure for many years.”
Young Chinese are open for new Technologies
Before the Group Night, the Volkswagen Group China held a workshop, in which it explained to journalists, most of them from Europe and America, why the Chinese market holds so much potential for the mobility offers of the future, such as electro-mobility, autonomous driving and networked vehicles.
“The young generation of Chinese people is open to technical novelties and electro-mobility,” says Cheng Ping, Senior Digital PR Manager Volkswagen Group China. Born in the 1980s, she runs her life from her cell phone, employing many apps and services that make things easier for her.
“Here in China, we like trying every new technology and every new product. The Chinese young generation is more open to the electro mobility. Any new technology, new products we´re willing to try. It´s not like we´re reserve ourselves no I don´t want to touch anything.”
Even today, Volkswagen is the number one on the most important car market in the world. To strengthen this position and continue exploiting market potential, Volkswagen is introducing JETTA as a new brand. In addition, the group’s brands will bring eight new SUV-models to the Chinese market this year. In 2020, approximately 40 percent of all the cars sold by the group in China, will be SUVs. Stephan Wöllenstein is confident about that.
In future, the two mega-trends of the present will merge together: electric driving and SUVs – in cars like the ID. ROOMZZ. China is the best place in the world to make these cars a success.
1 VW ID. ROOMZZ: Concept Car
2 Audi Ai:me2: Concept Car