Volkswagen makes 15-bn-euro bet on electric cars in China

April 24, 2018
People stand under a billboard advertising a Volkswagen car on the eve of the Beijing Auto Show in Beijing

Car giant Volkswagen announced Tuesday investments of 15 billion euros ($18 billion) in electric and autonomous vehicles in China by 2022, in a massive bet on the vital market.

"China is our second home," recently-installed chief executive Herbert Diess said at a Beijing press conference, with its set to be "the biggest" worldwide for electric cars.

He added that the cash—to come from both Volkswagen and local joint-venture partners—would "make mobility cleaner, safer and more intelligent to really improve people's lives".

By 2021, the world's largest carmaker aims to produce battery-powered cars in "at least six factories in China", Diess said.

The VW chief also announced a new joint venture with Chinese firm Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) to launch a new car brand, SOL, which will offer an electric SUV with a range of "more than 300 kilometres" (186 miles) on a single charge.

Accounting for some 28.9 million car sales last year, the Chinese car market could soon match those of the European Union and United States combined.

VW, which said it would set up a business unit devoted entirely to China in a recently-announced restructuring, plans to release some 40 new models there in the coming eight years.

Diess' trip to the Beijing Auto Show, which opens Wednesday, is his first foreign visit since replacing former CEO Matthias Mueller, the crisis firefighter brought in after the "dieselgate" scandal broke in 2015.

During his tenure, Mueller launched a massive reorientation of the mammoth group and its 12 brands towards electric-drive vehicles and digitally-connected and autonomous driving.

But VW has yet to escape the shadow of its admission to cheating on regulatory emissions tests for 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

Explore further: Scandal-hit Volkswagen expected to name new CEO

Related Stories

Scandal-hit Volkswagen expected to name new CEO

April 12, 2018

German car giant Volkswagen is set to replace chief executive Matthias Mueller Thursday, as it seeks to turn the page on the "dieselgate" emissions scandal that has dogged the company since 2015.

Nissan to invest $9.5 billion in China to drive sales

February 5, 2018

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor and its Chinese joint venture partner announced on Monday a $9.5 billion investment plan in China to increase annual sales by one million vehicles and boost electric car production.

VW boss 'convinced of diesel renaissance'

March 13, 2018

The chief executive of the world's largest carmaker Volkswagen said Tuesday he was convinced of a comeback for diesel motors, two-and-a-half years after the firm admitted to emissions cheating on a massive scale.

Recommended for you

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.