China is an important market for Volkswagen, but in recent years, the brand has lost market share to competitors such as Tesla and Chinese brands like BYD. However, Volkswagen has a plan to regain its position. The company plans to develop a new platform that will serve as the basis for four affordable EVs priced at around 20,000 euros. CEO Ralf Brandstätter announced this plan in an interview with Automotive News, noting that the Chinese market is very price-sensitive.
In response to the intense competition and repeated discounts from Tesla and BYD, Volkswagen aims to introduce a new platform based on the well-known MEB platform. The company plans to use materials from local suppliers to reduce costs and production time. The new platform is expected to be ready before 2026 and will significantly expedite the development of new cars, reducing the typical development time from four years to a maximum of two and a half years.
These new electric cars are specifically designed for Chinese consumers, taking into account the preferences of the younger customer base regarding battery pack, drive, technology, and software. With joint ventures with SAIC and FAW, Volkswagen plans to produce the new EVs and deliver them to Chinese consumers 30% faster. China is a crucial market for Volkswagen, accounting for almost half of the company’s profits. Despite high discounts on the Volkswagen ID.3, the company’s most popular electric car, it has not gained significant traction in China, ranking only 22nd among best-selling EVs in the country.