Volkswagen and XPeng Auto Tech Collaborate to Co-develop Two Intelligent Cars

Kevin WongMar 11, 2024, 05:18 AM

Chinese new energy vehicle brand XPENG has recently announced its formal expansion beyond the Chinese market into overseas markets, with the initial focus on the Middle East and five African nations. Subsequent plans include entry into the European market. Following Volkswagen's investment in XPENG last year, the two companies, known for their promising collaboration, have unveiled new developments.


On February 29th, Volkswagen officially declared a platform and software joint development agreement with XPENG. This collaboration aims to swiftly and efficiently create two Volkswagen-branded electric SUVs specifically designed for the Chinese market. The initial release of these electric vehicles is scheduled for 2026, equipped with advanced hardware and software supporting autonomous driving capabilities.

According to the agreement, both parties will implement a joint procurement plan to acquire shared automotive and platform components. This plan aims to generate cost advantages, optimizing the cost structures of the collaborative entities, which enhances the economic competitiveness of the jointly developed midsize intelligent connected vehicles. Through joint procurement and the application of innovative technologies in vehicle design and engineering phases, the product development cycle is expected to shorten by over 30%. Officially stated, Volkswagen's core in this arrangement is the Volkswagen (China) Technology Co., Ltd. (VCTC) in Hefei, focusing on the research and development of intelligent connected electric vehicles.

Brandstaetter, Managing Director overseeing Volkswagen's operations in China, stated, "China boasts the world's largest and fastest-growing electric vehicle market. To seize a leading position in promising segments, speed is crucial. We adhere to the 'In China, For China' strategy, focusing on meeting unique Chinese customer needs by expanding our local product portfolio and enhancing R&D capabilities. Through collaboration with XPENG, we aim to shorten product development cycles, improve efficiency, and optimize cost structures, significantly enhancing the economic competitiveness of our products in this price-sensitive market."


He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of XPENG Motors, noted, "The signing of the joint development agreement marks another significant milestone in our strategic cooperation with Volkswagen Group. Our unique strategic collaboration model has no precedent in the automotive industry. The profound consensus and strong trust built between the two parties over the past eight months laid a solid foundation for the smooth launch of the project. The synergies from joint procurement are already evident. I firmly believe that the strategic partnership between XPENG Motors and Volkswagen Group holds vast potential, and both parties will further explore opportunities together."

Reflecting on the collaboration between Volkswagen and XPENG: The partnership was announced in July 2023; by December 2023, Volkswagen Group invested approximately $700 million, acquiring a 4.99% stake in XPENG. In February 2024, they formally signed a platform and software joint development agreement to create two intelligent electric vehicle models, marking a significant milestone in their partnership.


Besides the deep collaboration with XPENG, Volkswagen Group aims to actively explore further partnerships with local high-tech enterprises in China, addressing the demands of the local market. More collaboration details may be revealed in the future.


(Author:  Kevin Wong)

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