Audi confirms three China-exclusive EVs co-developed with SAIC

In a bid to rapidly expand its EV line-up and become more competitive in China, Audi has joined hands with one of its local joint venture partners - SAIC. The carmaker will release three EVs co-developed with SAIC, with the first model due in 2025.

Image: SAIC

Audi and SAIC will jointly develop a range of electric models, with the first car scheduled to launch in 2025. The duo will subsequently release two more EVs, however, it remains unclear whether the cooperation will end there. In the announcement, Audi stated that the cooperation with SAIC will help it bring the first EV to the market more than 30 per cent faster.

Audi and SAIC have not disclosed any details about the design and features of their co-developed EVs. However, SAIC does mention that the cars will feature industry-leading software and offer world-class performance. Audi CEO Gernot Döllner added that the upcoming China-exclusive EVs will have automated driving features as well.

The three EVs will sit on a new ‘Advanced Digitized Platform’ and cover the B and C segments. Going by Audi’s vehicle classification, this would mean that these will be mid-size and executive models. These cars could be cheaper than Audi’s indigenously developed models like the Q4 e-tron, Q4 Sportback e-tron, Q6 e-tron (incl. Q6L e-tron), Q8 e-tron, Q8 Sportback e-tron, and the upcoming A6 e-tron.

As for the platform itself: The first model will launch next year, it will probably not be a completely new platform, but rather an Audi-specific modification of an existing platform. However, it will be given its own name for marketing purposes.

Following initial rumours, the planned collaboration between Audi and SAIC was first confirmed in July 2023. At the time, however, both sides gave hardly any details, which is why there was only speculation that Audi could take over an electric platform from IM Motors, a SAIC joint venture with Alibaba – either as a licence model or even as a takeover of the platform.

Audi established its joint venture with SAIC in 2021 and currently sells three models which are only available in China through this collaboration: A7L, Q5 e-tron, and Q6. However, all models have been based on the Volkswagen Group’s global platforms, so SAIC has had a limited role in the alliance so far. Now, the German brand is taking its collaboration with SAIC one step further, with a plan to launch co-developed electric cars.

With EV sales plateauing in Europe and North America, the Volkswagen Group brands are looking to become more competitive in other markets, such as China. We’ve seen a series of ‘From China, for China’ initiatives in that regard in the recent past, including two VW EVs developed in cooperation with Xpeng Motors and scheduled for launch in 2026.,


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