The Volkswagen Group is the latest automaker to trumpet a major push into the Chinese market, and electrification is very much a part of its strategy. The Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid is already in showrooms in China, the electric up! and e-Golf will be launched this year, and the Audi A3 e-tron and Golf GTE plug-ins are scheduled to arrive in 2015. And that’s not all. VW is developing two new plug-in hybrids specifically for the Chinese market – the Audi A6 and a new mid-size VW limousine are being developed together with the joint venture partners FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen, and will be produced locally.
“The Volkswagen Group is once again assuming a pioneering role in China and launching the biggest initiative for e-mobility in China’s automotive history,” said CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn. “All these vehicles are highly efficient and eco-friendly. Thanks to the modular strategy, which is also being implemented at our Chinese factories, we can electrify nearly every model in our range. Here in China, we are now setting out on the road to a future of emission-free mobility.”
The plug-in models are part of a major expansion in the Middle Kingdom. VW’s two joint venture partners plan to invest €18.2 billion by 2018, and the Group’s dealer network is to expand by 50 percent, from 2,400 dealerships to over 3,600.
“China is the Volkswagen Group’s largest single market and plays a key role in our Strategy 2018,” said Winterkorn. “For 2014, we have once again set our sights on double-digit growth in China and are aiming to deliver over 3.5 million vehicles to customers for the first time in a calendar year.”
Source: Volkswagen Group