At the same time, the race is on in China, where market potential is huge, particularly when it comes to electric mobility. Consider this a twofold victory for VW, then, as Reuters reports that Chinese regulators have approved a joint venture between the German automaker and China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motor), giving them the go-ahead to produce 100,000 all-electric vehicles a year.
VW and JAC struck a deal to build EVs together last year, shortly after the German group announced plans to launch 30 new electric vehicles in the next decade. In the meantime, Volkswagen Group has been showing electric and autonomous concepts. This includes the VW I.D. Crozz and the Audi E-Tron Sportback concepts – models that preview upcoming production versions – at Auto Shanghai. There's no doubt that Volkswagen is serious about China, and the $740 million value (according to a stock exchange filing) of the project with JAC is an indicator of that.
A few details need to be worked out before the deal is finalized, according to Volkswagen, which confirmed the approval to Reuters. This deal, though, is only part of VW's increasingly aggressive China strategy. It is the country's largest foreign automaker, and is already working with Chinese companies SAIC and FAW in other joint ventures. VW has previously said that it aims to sell 400,000 plug-in vehicles in China by 2020.
As the Chinese car market expands, other automakers are aiming to grab bigger shares, as we noticed at Auto Shanghai last month. EVs play an important role, thanks to China's policies targeting air pollution.