Date: November 25, 2023. – Volkswagen is planning to create a new platform for entry-level electric vehicles (EVs) in China, the world’s biggest auto market. The new platform, called the A Main Platform, will be designed to meet the specific needs and preferences of Chinese customers. They are increasingly opting for EVs over conventional cars.
According to Volkswagen, the A Main Platform would be utilized to produce four new cars with starting prices under $20,000 USD. The new platform will release the first vehicle, a crossover SUV, scheduled to be available in 2024. Moreover, the new platform will contain cutting-edge technologies from local vendors to reduce costs and boost efficiency. It will also incorporate more local components.
Volkswagen hopes that the new platform would help it reclaim lost ground in China. The company has faced intense competition from domestic EV makers like Nio and BYD, as well as global rivals like Tesla. Volkswagen’s current EV vehicles are based on the MEB platform. They have garnered lackluster response from Chinese customers, who find them lacking in functionality and attractiveness when compared to other possibilities.
Volkswagen has also announced the development of a new sub-brand in China that would offer more lifestyle-oriented and inexpensive EVs. The new sub-brand will be part of the Volkswagen brand, but it will have its own identity. It will cater to a younger demographic. The new sub-brand’s initial model will be based on the Cupra Tavascan. Furthermore, the Shanghai Auto Show introduced this all-electric SUV coupe in April 2023.
The new sub-brand and platform are part of Volkswagen’s “in China, for China” strategy. The strategy aims to increase the company’s presence in the nation by providing more tailored and innovative products and services. It also has committed approximately one billion euros to establish a new R&D facility in Hefei, China. The facility will integrate vehicle and component development and procurement. The new 100%TechCo center will be responsible for leading the development of Volkswagen Anhui joint venture products. Moreover, this development will be based on the MEB platform.
Volkswagen has set an ambitious target of selling 1.5 million EVs in China by 2025, and achieving a 50% share of the global EV market by 2030. With the new platform, the new sub-brand, and the new R&D center, Volkswagen hopes to accelerate its development pace and increase its profitability in the Chinese market.
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