Volkswagen boosts Chinese partners with $18 billion technology push | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.04.2018
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Business

Volkswagen boosts Chinese partners with $18 billion technology push

Volkswagen has trumpeted a bright start to 2018 and outlined massive spending plans for electric vehicle and autonomous-driving ventures in China, ahead of the Beijing auto show, which is scheduled to open on Wednesday.

Tapping into its world-leading research and development budget, Volkswagen (VW) has unveiled a €15 billion ($18 billion) investment plan for the next five years, as the German carmaker aims to outspend its rivals on developing electric and self-driving vehicles.

The investment amounts to an extra 44 percent on top of VW's own spending on such purposes, and would benefit primarily the company's three joint ventures with Chinese carmakers, said Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen's business in China.

Speaking at a new-model presentation in Beijing on Tuesday, Heizmann said the group was hiking its investment in China because the market there "continues to surprise to the upside."

Read more: VW reports record sales in 2017, boosted by China

Together with joint-venture partner Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC), VW plans to launch an electric sport-utility vehicle under a new brand called "Sol" with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). Overall, the VW group is aiming to deliver 1.5 million electric vehicles in China by 2025 and wants to start building electric cars in at least six Chinese factories by 2021.

Watch video 01:36
Now live
01:36 mins.

Volkswagen still shines in China

No ownership change

Speaking at the same event, VW group chief executive Herbert Diess noted that VW needed to "speed up" development because "change is getting faster, more dynamic and more ambitious, especially here in China."

Diess replaced Matthias Mueller as CEO two weeks ago to accelerate Volkswagen's restructuring as it emerges from the 2015 emissions cheating scandal that resulted in billions of euros in fines.

Read more: Corporate wheel turns at VW, but workers are staying calm

Under new technology plans, the world's biggest carmaker by sales aims to produce electric versions of all 300 cars, trucks and buses in its line-up, plus adding an all-new set of battery-powered vehicles.

The CEO also said that VW had no plans to alter the joint-venture structure of its Chinese operations. China's government signaled last week that it'll eventually allow foreign automakers to take full ownership of their local ventures. The current 50 percent stake cap is scheduled to end for passenger-car producers in 2022.

Watch video 02:36
Now live
02:36 mins.

China pushing to become e-mobility leader

uhe/aos (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

DW recommends

Audios and videos on the topic

ADVERTISEMENT