VW making big push in China to cement largest automaker title
Volkswagen is expanding its footprint in China in the hopes of out-selling rival GM in its largest market.
To accomplish this, according to Reuters, VW seeks to forge a partnership with Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-sharing service, and will invest heavily in so-called “new energy vehicles,” which are essentially low-emissions vehicles incentivized by the Chinese government.
Didi Chuxing recently bought out Uber’s Chinese arm to become the largest ride-hailing company in China. It has a presence in over 400 cities and over 300 million users, or roughly the population of the entire US. Volkswagen acknowledged on Thursday that it was in talks with Didi Chuxing, possibly to forge a partnership similar to that of GM and Lyft or Uber and Toyota in the US.
The second prong of VW’s strategy involves NEVs, which include plug-in electrics. VW’s first China-built NEVs will go on sale later this year, under the Audi brand. VW hopes to sell 400,000 NEVs by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025. NEV sales have quadrupled in the past year to 331,000, says Reuters, giving VW a prime position to dominate the market if all goes according to plan.
VW and GM are currently rivals in capturing the title of largest automaker in China.