Volkswagen Group China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd. (JAC) and SEAT in Berlin, in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The three groups will together establish a new R&D center with a focus on developing electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies, as well as a competitive platform for battery electric vehicles (BEV). The SEAT brand will be introduced to China by 2020- 2021 as the move reinforces the Sino-German cooperation, as well as supporting VW Group China's drive to be a leader in e-mobility.
"Electrified cars are the future of mobility and China is at the forefront of developing sustainable e-mobility solutions," said Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group China. "We are proud to have the opportunity to further collaborate with a trusted partner in developing E-mobility technologies. It represents another major step in Volkswagen Group's overall China strategy."
According to the MoU, China plays an important role for VW in order to meet the demands of Chinese customers. Together with JAC and SEAT, VW Group China will establish a R&D center to develop electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies specifically tailored to the Chinese market, including relevant parts and components and core technologies, with completion planned for 2021. Under the MoU, SEAT will become a shareholder in JAC Volkswagen, through either a capital increase of JAC Volkswagen or a share transfer from Volkswagen Group China. This will result in the introduction of the SEAT brand in the China market, targeting 2020/21.
Moreover, the joint venture will also launch a competitive BEV platform based on the technological resources of the three parties, both for the China and the global market. Through the "Roadmap E", Volkswagen Group China will look to lead the way in the development of e-mobility, with the introduction of 40 locally-produced models to the market within the next 7-8 years.