A few days ago we heard the news that Audi was closing a strategic agreement with the Chinese manufacturer SAIC, among other things, to accelerate the development of its new electric cars. Now it is the parent company, Volkswagen, which has made a move to take advantage of the rapid growth of Chinese electric car manufacturers, with the acquisition of a percentage of Xpeng Motors.
In the first phase, Volkswagen and Xpeng Motors will plan to jointly develop two electric cars under the Volkswagen brand for the Chinese compact car market. These two new models will complement the portfolio of products based on the MEB platform and are scheduled to hit the market in 2026.
At the same time, as part of the long-term strategic cooperation, the Volkswagen Group will increase its investment in Xpeng Motors by approximately USD 700 million, which, upon completion of the transaction, will allow the German manufacturer to have a seat on the board of directors. from Xpeng.
Volkswagen has indicated one of the reasons for this agreement. software. A section where Chinese manufacturers have advanced at full speed, with many setbacks along the way, but learning at a rapid pace until they achieve a highly polished system.
It now remains to be seen which models Volkswagen will launch hand in hand with this agreement, and whether these will be dedicated exclusively to the Chinese market, or on the contrary, they will reach Europe to compete on price against the rest of the Chinese rivals and Tesla.
An agreement that makes it possible to shorten the development periods of the models by two or three years, and that undoubtedly represents an accolade for an Xpeng Motors project that has been somewhat touched in recent months by the modest sales figures, improved with The Xpeng G6 has been dubbed the “last hope”.
A proposal on which the future of a brand that does not stop losing money, something common in startups, but which was also suffering a stagnation in registrations, and which has become a bestseller in its markets, depended to a great extent. first weeks.