Why Audi uses a Chinese brand to design electric cars

Audi has made the decision to partner with the Chinese group SAIC Motor to design its next electric cars. These will be based on a new common platform, but it is not known whether these will also be intended for Europe or only for China.

In recent years, Chinese manufacturers have become more and more important and powerful. This is the case in their native market, of course, but also in the rest of the world and particularly in Europe. So much so that the Middle Kingdom became the world’s largest exporter a few months ago.

A Chinese platform for Audi

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We are now very far from the time when Asian brands were content to shamelessly copy the successful models of European manufacturers. Now, the latter are invading our market, which obviously does not really appeal to specialists, nor to Brussels, which had announced a series of measures. But will this be enough to stop the Chinese frenzy? Nothing is less sure.

Especially since they want to go even further. Not happy with gain market share from traditional brands, they now want to become part of the development process. How ? By providing, for example, platforms for future electric cars. This is precisely the strategy of the SAIC Motor group (which owns the manufacturer MG), which announces that it has signed a partnership with Audi.

The Chinese site Jillian announces that the two companies have decided to join forces within the framework of the development of future electric cars from the Ingolstadt firm. More concretely, the latter will call on its new Chinese partner to provide it with a platform. But why not use the famous SSP which we have been hearing about for several years now?

Well, this one wouldn’t actually be ready at all. We know that the Volkswagen group, of which Audi is a part as well as Porsche and Seat, is experiencing some difficulties with this technical basis. So much so that he preferred to offer some changes to his MEB, which equips the Audi Q4 e-tron and other Skoda Enyaq, among others, in order to make it last longer.

Only in China?

But in practice, how will this new partnership translate? Will Audi take over the MSP platform from the MG4, which is starting to make a name for itself on the European market? This is not planned. In fact, the next electric cars of the brand with the four rings should instead be based on the technical basis developed by the manufacturer IM Motors, which is not yet present on the Old Continent.

It is therefore the IM I7 which could give its bottom to Audiwhile it is currently the flagship of the Chinese brand founded in 2020, rivaling the Tesla Model S. The firm also markets the L5, which hunts on the lands of the Model 3. But will future electric rings based on a Chinese base be sold here?

For now, there is no indication that this is the case and it is very likely that these vehicles will only be marketed in China. The website CNEVPost reminds us that this market is in full mutation and that SAIC and Audi have agreed on the importance of develop their local presence. In a press release, the Volkswagen group announced that it had sold 62,400 electric cars in the Middle Kingdom since the beginning of the year.

This market currently represents 19% of its sales of zero-emission exhaust models, compared to 68% for Europe. But this is not the first time that Audi and SAIC Motor have collaborated, since the two manufacturers are already linked by a joint venturewhich notably allows the sale of the A7L, an elongated version of the current A7, in China.

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