Audi to develop three China-only models with SAIC

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

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% 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.

Advanced Digitized Platform

The three EVs will be on a new ‘Advanced Digitized Platform’ and cover the B and C segments. According to Audi’s vehicle classification, these will be mid-size models.

The platform itself will probably not be completely new but rather an Audi-specific modification of an existing platform. However, it will be given its own name for marketing purposes.

Following initial rumors, the planned collaboration between Audi and SAIC was first detailed in July 2023. Audi started its joint venture with SAIC in 2021 and currently sells three models that are only available in China through this collaboration: the A7L, the Q5 e-tron, and the Q6.

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, planning to launch co-developed electric cars.

China as a primal target

With EV sales plateauing in Europe and North America, the Volkswagen Group brands want to become more competitive in other markets, such as China.

In recent years, we’ve seen a series of ‘From China, for China’ initiatives in that regard, including two VW EVs developed in cooperation with Xpeng Motors and scheduled for launch in 2026.


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