It’s now official, Volkswagen is well associated with the Chinese electric car manufacturer Xpeng. The two companies have just finalized their alliance, which should result in the launch of two new electric cars. Enough to help the German firm get back on track?
Chinese manufacturers are gaining more and more importance on the market today. If some are totally opposed to it and try to put obstacles in their way, as is the case with the European Union, others wish to take advantage of it. This is for example the case of Audi, which recently joined forces with IM Motors, or of Stellantis which will sell Leapmotor electric cars in Europe.
A new alliance
But that’s not all, because another brand has also decided to partner with a company from the Middle Kingdom. This time it is Volkswagen, which is experiencing great difficulties despite its position as 3rd manufacturer of electric cars behind Tesla and BYD. The project began last July, but it was still far from coming to fruition.
But now it’s a done deal, as the American site explains Electrive. Thus, the German manufacturer has just finalized the acquisition of 4.99% of shares from the young start-up Xpeng, which is slowly beginning its arrival in Europe, notably with the Xpeng G9 4C which recharges in 15 minutes. A participation which represents no less than 654.5 million euros all the same. Volkswagen will also have a place on the board of directors, although without voting rights.
An operation which should bring a lot to the German manufacturer, which is currently encountering many difficulties. Firstly because its electric cars are having difficulty selling, so much so that production was interrupted until the end of the year, due to insufficient demand. But that’s not all, because the Wolfsburg firm also has to deal with problems linked to its subsidiary Cariad.
This forces it to make layoffs next year, while it also has to deal with problems caused by the new APP550 electric motor. The latter notably equips the ID.4 and ID.5 as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron. Suffice to say that the situation of the German brand is very complicated and it is therefore banking heavily on its partnership with Xpeng to get back on track.
Two models in preparation
But what exactly will this alliance consist of? Well, it should come to fruition very quickly with the launch of two new models targeting the mid-range market, in particular in order to hunting on the lands of Tesla and BYD. These cars, about which little is known at the moment, will be sold with the Volkswagen logo, but will be based on a platform designed by Xpeng.
Which should logically make it possible to reduce development and production costs for both partners. And translate to lower prices for customers while guaranteeing high margins. In addition, Volkswagen will take advantage of Xpeng’s presence in China to develop its own, while the country already represents 40% of the German brand’s sales.
But that’s not all, because the latter will also benefit innovations from its partner on the software part, where it fishes very strongly. The cars resulting from this Sino-German marriage will notably be equipped with autonomous driving, which can go up to level 3. In addition, they should benefit from very fast charging like on the Xpeng G6 and a high autonomy.
However, you will still have to be patient, since these cars will not see the light of day before 2026. It also remains to be seen whether these will also be marketed in Europe, which obviously cannot be ruled out.