GUANGZHOU – That’s the claim from Jochen Sengpiehl, chief marketing officer of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand while speaking at a workshop on the DNA of the new Volkswagen brand design and logo unveiled in Guangzhou on October 31 at the Welcome to New Volkswagen event celebrating the brand’s new journey in China.
The official introduction of the new brand design in China comes about 1.5 months after its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September, and ushers in a new era for the leading foreign brand in China: new design, new logo, new look, new claim, new models, new plans and most importantly, a new corporate goal focusing fully on decarbonization.
Later in the evening, the ID.NEXT, already on show at the IAA, gave a glimpse of the first model in the ID. family for China. This first MEB (Modular Electric Toolkit)-based model for the Chinese market will go into local production in 12 months, and will be one of 10 MEB-based battery electric vehicles to be launched by the Volkswagen brand in China by 2023. The ID.3, which had its global premiere at the IAA, made its China premiere and will be produced at SAIC-Volkswagen’s Anting MEB plant in the future. Together, the ID.NEXT and ID.3 are two of 33 MEB models to be launched by Volkswagen Group brands globally by 2025, nearly half of which will be in China. By 2025, the Volkswagen brand will produce 1 million MEB-based electric models annually across the world, two-thirds of which will be produced in China, fully utilizing the annual output capacity of the Anting MEB plant as well as FAW-Volkswagen’s Foshan MEB plant, which have a combined annual output capacity of 600,000 units.
Already, the Volkswagen brand plans to deliver 300,000 electrified models – plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles – in the Chinese market in 2020, to be increased to one million units by 2025 including the aforementioned MEB-models. Up to the production of the ID.NEXT in China at the end of 2020, the Volkswagen brand will already be launching 10 electrified versions of existing models on the Chinese market, including for example the recently launched e-Bora and e-Lavida.
In Guangzhou, the brand also presented the compact SUV TACQUA, which is to be produced by FAW-Volkswagen by yearend, becoming the third SUV model offered by the JV after the Tayron and T-ROC. A sneak preview of SAIC-Volkswagen’s large MPV Viloran was shown in a video, with the model to be presented at the upcoming Guangzhou Auto Show in three weeks. This is part of the Volkswagen model offensive with high-efficiency internal combustion engines. Since the global debut of the new Touareg in Beijing in March 2018, when Volkswagen kicked off its “Move Forward” product offensive, the brand has introduced a total of 14 new models including five new SUVs in China.
“We have given our brand a new look, a new character, a new corporate goal focusing fully on decarbonization and new cars. Volkswagen will continue to bring fascinating models onto the market – including cars with high-efficiency combustion engines,” said Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Brand, and CEO of Volkswagen Group China and Volkswagen Passenger Cars in China at the New Brand Design presentation in Guangzhou. “However, the ID.Next and ID.3 show that we are on the way to mobility with a neutral carbon balance with battery electric vehicles. The new Volkswagen stands for an electric future and much more. We will offer the best Volkswagens in any segment, from small to full-size, from SUV to MPV and beyond.”
Dr. Wöllenstein told CBU/CAR after the event that Volkswagen has yet to decide on the location of production for the ID.NEXT but confirmed that by 2023, all 10 ID. models on the Chinese market will utilize the MEB plants in Anting and Foshan, which have a combined standard capacity of 600,000 units that can be extended by an additional 100,000 units via three-shifts and added weekend work.
“But beyond the next step to the one million units, there will be additional production capacities required,” he said. Dr. Wöllenstein also told CBU/CAR that the proportion of SUVs within Volkswagen brand sales in China has already reached close to 35 percent and the goal is to increase that to about 45 percent, while that of sedans will be about 40 to 45 percent. The brand is already the leading foreign brand in SUV sales thanks to its SUV offensive that began in March 2018.
Earlier in the day during the brand experience and workshop, Catherine Peng, vice president and head of PR & Communications at Volkswagen Group China, reiterated the company’s goal to be completely carbon neutral in China and the world by 2050, in an ambitious effort to bring the Group’s one percent share of CO2 emissions in the world down to zero as part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement. By 2025, every car made by the Volkswagen Group in China will have 30 percent less use of waste materials, energy use and water use. Also by 2025, it will try to cut CO2 emissions in China, like in the rest of the world, by 30 percent compared to 2015. The company will establish a decarbonization index in China in 2020 so that its progress is fully transparent and is already looking for local partners to compensate for its carbon emissions plans.
The overarching strategy for the Group’s new decarbonization plan is called “goTOzero” while the slogan for the new Volkswagen band is “on the way to emission-free mobility for all.” Over the coming months, about 2,100 Volkswagen brand dealers in China will have about 13,000 logos replaced, part of a task that will involve more than 10,000 dealers globally.