China is Volkswagen’s #1 market. Volkswagen intends to further expand this market by producing and selling plug-in hybrids there. Volkswagen will announce more details of its plans to shift or increase its sales in China to plug-ins and hybrids at the Beijing Auto Show on April 19-20. Plans are in the works as they choose a new location to build the VWs in China.
It is a critical time to bring China to the plug-in market. This is vital news as China’s people continue to struggle with perilous levels of unsafe environmental problems, both air and water. “VW will build the plug-in hybrids — a combined petrol engine and electric motor that can travel longer distances on battery power than ordinary hybrids — with their Chinese partner First Automotive Works,” Reuters sources said on Thursday. “Talk is that the new plant will locate in Foshan, southern China, although VW has not confirmed this.”
In order to combat growing quality of life problems related to pollution, China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, said last month that the country would “declare war” on pollution. Here’s more via Reuters:
The government announced a 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) fund to help change the way it produces and consumes energy. It aims to promote green and low-carbon technology to cut fossil fuel use and control coal consumption.
Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, is a late starter in terms of making environmentally-friendly cars in China, even though the country is its No. 1 market and accounted for a third of last year’s record 9.7 million global deliveries.
Rival Daimler and its local partner BYD Co. plan to start selling their Denza electric vehicle this year, though as yet they have given no start date. Hybrid vehicle champion Toyota unveiled the Yundon-Showanchin II hybrid model last year, specifically developed for China.
Faced with caps on carbon dioxide emissions in core European markets and a drive by rivals to develop battery-powered cars, VW needs to grab a share of the market for plug-in hybrids.
“This technology allows us to meet three key customer wishes at the same time – emission-free electric mobility, a full range for long-distance driving and 100 percent driving pleasure,” VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said at the March 13 annual press conference.
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