Volkswagen Anhui, the Chinese joint venture primarily owned by German automaker Volkswagen, has initiated the production of its inaugural electric vehicle (EV), the Cupra Tavascan. This move underscores the venture's strategic focus on leveraging the local industry chain to manufacture electric vehicles for both European and Chinese consumers.
The Cupra Tavascan, an all-electric model designed for export to the European market, has recently entered production. Additionally, Volkswagen Anhui plans to roll out another Volkswagen-branded electric model for the Chinese market in 2024, according to a report in Anhui Daily.
Established in 2017, Volkswagen Anhui represents Volkswagen's first joint venture in China exclusively dedicated to EVs. Originally known as Jianghuai Volkswagen Automobile, Volkswagen increased its ownership stake in the joint venture to 75% in late 2020, prompting a renaming to Volkswagen Anhui.
Volkswagen Anhui has constructed Volkswagen's third MEB (modular electric drive matrix) plant in China, aiming to produce a range of all-electric vehicles based on the MEB platform. The plant, which broke ground in April 2021 and commenced equipment installation in March 2022, positions the joint venture to contribute significantly to Volkswagen's electric vehicle ambitions in the region.
The Cupra Tavascan, associated with Volkswagen's SEAT brand, initially debuted as a concept in 2019, featuring Volkswagen's MEB platform.
Volkswagen plans to export EVs manufactured in China to the European market, citing capacity constraints in its domestic market, as reported by Bloomberg on December 2, 2022.
Having been a prominent player in the Chinese market for four decades through its successful joint ventures, SAIC-Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, Volkswagen is extending its footprint with Volkswagen Anhui. The company intends to invest RMB 23.1 billion yuan ($3.25 billion) in the province, with various subsidiaries, including the parts company that recently inaugurated its first wholly owned battery system plant in China. The plant began production of high-voltage battery systems in November 2023 and will also manufacture CTP (cell-to-pack) battery packs in collaboration with local Anhui power battery maker Gotion High-tech.
Hefei in Anhui province is not only a production base for Volkswagen but has also been designated as its first global center for new energy vehicle R&D, innovation, and component sourcing outside of its German headquarters, according to the Anhui Daily report.