Volkswagen Claims Role of Pioneer for E-Mobility in China
According to CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the Volkswagen Group is taking on a pioneering role in China, launching the biggest initiative for e-mobility in the country’s automotive history.
The initiative gets underway with the launch this year of the Volkswagen brand's electric up! and e-Golf models. While the Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid is already in the showrooms in China, the VW Group will be launching two further innovative plug-in hybrid vehicles there next year with the Audi A3 e-tron and the Golf GTE. Starting in 2016, this will be followed by two models developed specially for the Chinese market: These are the Audi A6 and a new mid-size limousine from the Volkswagen brand, both plug-in hybrids which are being developed together with the joint venture partners FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen and will be produced locally. Furthermore, the Bentley Hybrid Concept opens a window on the broad-ranging potential of hybrid technology. Winterkorn was confident not only in their efficiency, but in their drivability for consumers:
All these vehicles are highly efficient and eco-friendly. And at the same time they offer lots of driving pleasure. That is exactly what people all over the world and here in China expect of the Volkswagen Group. Thanks to the modular strategy, which is also being implemented at our Chinese factories, we can electrify nearly every model in our range: From small cars to large sedans, from pure electric drives to plug-in hybrids.
Investing in green technologies and resource-efficient plants will also be on the VW agenda. Two joint-venture partners, FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen plan to invest more than ever in these state-of-the-art rides, as much as €18.2 billion will be invested up to 2018. And, the VW Group dealer network predicts an increase of dealerships in China, from the current 2,400 to over 3,600 by the 2018 mark.
Over the next several years, VW Group predicts more than 20,000 skilled jobs will be created in China alone. Winterkorn explained, "China is the Volkswagen Group's largest single market and plays a key role in our Strategy 2018. 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." However, progress is not only being made in China, Winterkorn pointed out emphatically. This year, the VW Group is aiming to deliver more than 10 million vehicles to the world market for the first time ever, he said. This number would hit the quantitative target of Strategy 2018 four years earlier than had been anticipated.
Going forward, Winterkorn reemphasized the importance of China in the coming years, in a nation where the population’s expectations of mobility are changing ever-faster.