SAIC and Audi believe that China’s auto market is undergoing an unprecedented and dramatic transformation, and will therefore further deepen their strategic cooperation.
China’s state-owned automaker SAIC Motor Corp confirmed that it is working on an electric vehicle (EV) platform with Audi, the premium car brand of Volkswagen AG, after rumors surfaced last week.
SAIC and Audi have agreed that they will accelerate EV development through the partnership, local media outlet Jiemian said in a report today, citing a response from the Chinese carmaker.
The two sides share the view that China’s auto market is undergoing an unprecedented and dramatic transformation, and will therefore further deepen their strategic cooperation, SAIC said.
On July 9, German media outlet Automobilwoche reported that Audi was seeking outside help to shorten the development time of its models, and that in China the company was in talks with a rival.
On July 12, Reuters cited two people familiar with the matter as saying that Audi was in talks with SAIC to buy the latter’s EV platform, in an unprecedented effort to consolidate market share.
Audi seeks to take over the EV platform owned by IM Motors, SAIC’s EV division, according to the report.
IM Motors was founded on November 26, 2020, by SAIC, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech and Alibaba, with SAIC holding a majority stake.
Jiemian’s brief report today offers nothing more. It’s unclear whether Audi will use SAIC’s platform or that of its sub-brands like IM Motors.
In Deutsche Bank’s view, Audi’s purchase of an EV platform from another carmaker in China is welcome.
“We would highly welcome Volkswagen buying a BEV platform in China. To us, it would demonstrate a new mindset of Volkswagen with the willingness to really embrace partnerships,” Deutsche Bank analyst Tim Rokossa’s team said in a July 13 research note sent to investors.
This is one of the “big bangs” needed for Volkswagen shares to break out of a situation that is currently being largely ignored by many of the world’s biggest asset managers, and would be a real opportunity for a fresh start, the team said.