VW relishes competition in Chinese EV market

BERLIN — The Volkswagen Group wants to expand both high-end and low-end products in the Chinese market, said China’s chief executive Ralf Brannstätter, citing the country’s fast-paced and competitive landscape. It calls the intense market “the giant fitness center of the industry.”

Volkswagen has long dominated China’s internal-combustion-engine vehicle market, but has lagged domestic rivals in electric vehicles, according to Chinese brokerage firm CMBI. BYD, which sold 40,046 EVs from Jan. 1 to 8, sold 40,046 EVs compared to VW brand’s 1,962, according to Chinese brokerage firm CMBI.

“We don’t want to give up on this competition, we want to participate,” Brandstätter said at a media roundtable.

Asked if the automaker wants to remain China’s number one foreign automaker in the electric age, he said, “We want to play a leading role… It’s freshly mixed.”

By further localizing research and development for Chinese models, the company aims to reduce the time-to-market for new models from four years to an average of 2.5 years for its Chinese peers.

“We spend more time on quality standards, but we can go faster,” says Brandstätter.

The high-end ID7 will be released in China, according to Brandstetter, while new models like sedans and SUVs smaller than the ID4 will also be released, while the entry-level ID2 planned for Europe is not planned.

Chinese officials believe part of China’s EV market’s rapid growth is due to cheaper electricity, with the cost of a single charge for an ID4 nearly five times higher in Germany than in China. .

Brandstetter said VW must act “from a strong position” in China, citing ongoing discussions in Germany on how to diversify its economic ties to reduce its reliance on China. bottom.

“Diversification does not mean shutting down China and strengthening America. It means continuing to take advantage of China’s market opportunities and strengthening America,” he said. .

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