The German automaker, the second largest in the world and the biggest in Europe, counts on China as its single largest auto market and recently announced it reached a cooperation agreement with local automaker SAIC Motor Corporation regarding electric cars.
The German carmaker inked a new deal with SAIC that concerns the increase of production, research and development of electric cars in China – which has been promoting the use of alternative energy autos as a form to fight the growing plague of pollution. Volkswagen recently announced its agreement includes the expansion of the key factory of the Chinese joint venture between the two automakers, located in Anting. The German company added that during the upcoming four years, a total of at least 15 different electric vehicles would be localized in China, including plug in hybrids and full electric versions. The duo also intends to speed up the research activities concerning the development of fuel cells and plug in hybrid technologies. The new deal is part of the total spending plan of 22 billion euros ($25 billion) in China by the VW Group and its joint ventures across the period spanning to 2019.
The Anting production facility, west of Shanghai, will start building from 2016 a new C-segment model for the VW brand and in four years maximum a new electric version of the carmaker’s best-selling China car, the Lavida, would also be coming off the production line at the factory. The VW Group, through its joint ventures Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, has sold a total of 3.7 million autos in China, the world’s biggest auto market, last year.