Volkswagen has readied the ground for a research and development centre with its Chinese joint venture partner JAC, in Hefei, Anhui Province. The centre will focus on electrification, connectivity and autonomous driving.
The ground-breaking ceremony took place just two weeks after Volkswagen, JAC and Seat signed a letter of intent to jointly develop electric Seat vehicles in China. Together the partners intend to launch the Seat brand on the Chinese market in 2021. The Spanish VW subsidiary had already joined the China joint venture JAC-Volkswagen in the middle of the year.
According to a Seat announcement, the construction of the R&D centre not only fulfils the agreements signed on July, 9 and November, 28 of this year, but it also represents an important cornerstone for JAC-Volkswagen to establish a presence in the Chinese electric car and plug-in hybrid industry.
For Seat, this is already the second attempt in China. In 2012 VW tried to establish the Spaniards as an import brand in China when they partnered with Leon FR, but the venture was considered a failure just two years later. With this new venture, the signs look quite different: This time Seat returns flanked by JAC as an electric brand.
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