Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

nio byd vw


Volkswagen Calls NIO, BYD ‘Direct Competitors’

VW is counting Chinese car brands among its global rivals.

In the US, Chinese cars are rarely discussed, let alone discussed as a real threat to the automotive status quo. But those “in the know” know better, and now Volkswagen– one of the world’s largest automakers– is calling BYD and NIO “direct competitors.”

The comment was made during the explanation of a slide shown at an April 20th meeting to discuss the Volkswagen Group’s “NEW AUTO” strategy that aims to turn VW and its subsidiaries into “a global force” across the fields of car making, automation (“mechatronics”), software development, EV batteries, and novel “mobility” solutions. The slide shows who Volkswagen considers rival automakers worth reckoning with– and NIO and BYD weren’t the only surprises there.


Presentation slide documenting VW’s rivals.

Do you see it? Hyundai is no surprise, and neither (really) are Tesla and XPeng. No, the surprising “threat” Volkswagen sees comes from Stellantis– the parent company of the Chrysler, Jeep, and Fiat brads. And, frankly, it’s surprising because Stellantis’ CEO, Carlos Tavares, doesn’t seem particularly confident the company can remain profitable in the race to electrification.

“In the transition to ‘NEW AUTO’, our competitors will not only be Mercedes-Benz, Toyota or the Stellantis Group,” VW chairman Herbert Diess is quoted as saying, “but also Tesla, Foxconn, Apple, LG Electronics, Uber, etc.”

Hearing Stellantis group mentioned in the same breath as Mercedes, Tesla, Foxconn, and Apple is a bit of a shocker for this write, at least. Possibly Steve, too– and anyone else who lived through the K-Car era of FWD Mopars. That said, the latest Chrysler Airflow looks the part, and the electric Jeep Wrangler concepts keep challenging the average Jeep fan’s notions of what’s possible, so… maybe?

Volkswagen Has a Fight On its Hands

The more popular Chinese car brands are starting to make headway in Europe, but the same can’t necessarily be said of European brands in China. There, Volkswagen had predicted its ID-model cars could sell as many as 100,000 units.  They fell well short of that number, achieving just over 70,000 unit sales. An indication, according to Car News China, that consumers in that country prefer more driver-facing technology than what’s offered in the relatively low-tech VWs.

VW’s luxury brands didn’t fare much better, with both Porsche and Audi getting handily outsold by offerings from the local Hongqi and Human Horizons brands. Tesla, meanwhile, sold 310,000 units– outselling everyone.

It’s hard to know who is going to come out on top in the industry reshuffle that’s coming with electrification– but one thing’s sure, even for giants like Volkswagen: the times they are a changin’.


Source | Images: Volkswagen, via Car News China.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


You May Also Like


Tesla will begin manufacturing a new version of the Model Y in Germany with a structural battery pack from BYD.

Cap And Trade

The narrative that Americans and many Europeans share about China and themselves is not aligned with observable reality, and the USA is in significant...

Clean Transport

There was quite a bit of drama on several forums following reports in various media platforms around the world that BYD has overtaken Telsa...

Autonomous Vehicles

While autonomous vehicle testing in the United States (especially with Tesla vehicles) gets a lot of our attention, we also like to keep an...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.