In this undated photo, executives and government officials attend the groundbreaking ceremony of JAC Volkswagen's new R&D center in Hefei, Anhui province. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
The JAC Volkswagen joint venture started construction of its research and development center for new energy passenger vehicles last Monday－focusing on electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving and other future technologies－in a push to help shape the future development of e-mobility.
Located in the economic and development zone of Hefei, Anhui province, where joint venture partner JAC Motors is headquartered, the new center is expected to begin operating in 2020.
"The R&D center is a milestone for JAC Volkswagen. Electrification and intelligentization are the key directions for the transformation currently taking place in the auto industry," said Li Ming, president of the joint venture.
The R&D center is a milestone for JAC Volkswagen. Electrification and intelligentization are the key directions for the transformation currently taking place in the auto industry
Li Ming, President, JAC Volkswagen
"With the strong support of the shareholders and all sectors of the community, JAC Volkswagen is seizing the opportunity to pursue innovation-driven development in its new energy vehicle offensive with foresight and innovation, and move towards the future of sustainable mobility," Li said at the groundbreaking ceremony. With the aim of becoming a NEV leader in the world's largest market, last December the German carmaker set up the joint venture with JAC dedicated to NEVs in China. In July, Volkswagen's Spanish brand Seat joined the partnership. The three parties are now making redoubled efforts to accelerate the development of JAC Volkswagen.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the R&D center came just two weeks after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by JAC, Volkswagen China and Seat, which further defines JAC Volkswagen's future development direction.
Under the agreement, all parties will leverage their investment, knowledge and technology strengths to ensure the R&D center fulfills its goals.
When the construction of the R&D center is completed, a new electric vehicle platform will be developed by all parties to produce JAC Volkswagen models.
According to the MoU, JAC Volkswagen will introduce Seat brand vehicles by 2021, which will be the third attempt by Seat to enter the Chinese market.
By 2022, Volkswagen AG and its partners in China will invest about 15 billion euros (US$17.04 billion) in future fields, such as e-mobility, autonomous driving, digitalization and new mobility services.
These developments are part of wider efforts in the e-mobility field－undertaken by Volkswagen China, along with its other joint ventures, FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen－to launch 30 NEV models in the next two years, half of which will be produced in China. The group aims to deliver around 400,000 NEVs in China in 2020, and is preparing to deliver around 1.5 million in 2025.
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