CEO Müller: "Volkswagen will become even more Chinese in the coming years – together with our partners we want to shape a new era of mobility in China."
New partnerships to swiftly build up mobility services in the People's Republic
Group Board Member Jochem Heizmann: "China's rapid development continues – together with our Chinese partners we want to offer customers optimal solutions for the future of mobility."
Group Media Night attended by over 500 guests demonstrated the Group's new orientation
New models, new partnerships, new technologies: the Volkswagen Group is shaping the transition to the mobility world of tomorrow in the key sales market of China. "Shaping the future together" was the motto of the event on the eve of Auto Shanghai 2017 when the Group showcased a large number of new models including three electric world premieres: the Audi X17 BEV Coupé, the ŠKODA VISION E and the Volkswagen I.D. Crossover concept. The Group is thus underscoring its ambitious goals regarding e-mobility and driving forward its strategic realignment. That is also confirmed by the China premiere of "Sedric", the first self-driving concept car, as well as a smart city partnership with Tongji University. In 2017 alone, the Volkswagen Group and its two Chinese partners will be launching a total of 30 new models in China, including several SUVs. Advanced voice recognition in the current fleet is to enhance user friendliness still further. To that end, a new joint venture with MobVoi, the Chinese company that specializes in artificial intelligence, has been set up.
"China is fast, vigorous, innovative and the global lead market for e-mobility", Matthias Müller, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, told some 500 guests at the Group Media Night in Shanghai. "We are strengthening cooperation with our existing partners and at the same time entering new partnerships in order to shape a new era of mobility. We want to create a sustainable mobility world for our millions of Chinese customers. That means Volkswagen will become even more Chinese in the coming years."
Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said: "More than 30 years ago, Volkswagen joined China to lay the groundwork for the best mobility solutions in a fast-emerging economy. China's rapid development continues today - together with our long-standing Chinese joint venture partners and through new cooperation projects we want to offer customers optimal solutions for the future of mobility."
The Group is also showcasing its vision of autonomous driving at Auto Shanghai 2017: the concept car called "Sedric" made its first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. "Sedric" highlights the major importance of fully-automated driving in the Group's strategy: it is the first car for autonomous driving with no steering wheel or pedals. "Sedric" gives a foretaste of the mobility of the future and will be developed further in China by the new joint venture with MobVoi. Volkswagen Group China is also supporting a smart city project which explores a concept for setting up a self-driving mobility fleet in big cities based on Sedric. Pilot projects featuring contributions such as software developments (apps) from Tongji University in Shanghai are planned for metropolitan cities in Eastern China and the Yangtze delta.
A service in the growing car-sharing business in China is to be built up with the Beijing car rental company Shouqi. There are plans to enter into a strategic partnership with the mobile transportation service provider Didi to offer joint mobility services such as a ride hailing service. With these cooperation projects, the Volkswagen Group is aiming to develop local solutions for future transport systems in Chinese cities. "We are systematically implementing the Group's TOGETHER - Strategy 2025 program for the future in China, as elsewhere", Heizmann commented, and added: "We are making mobility accessible to more people and making driving more comfortable, cleaner and safer for our Chinese customers."