A German-Chinese automotive alliance’s progeny, Volkswagen Anhui, has begun manufacturing the Cupra Tavascan for sale in Europe. The company, which was formed in 2017 as a joint venture between Volkswagen and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC), has lately revealed its intentions to take advantage of the local industry chain’s expertise in electric vehicle (EV) production to meet the demanding demands of customers in both China and Europe.
Volkswagen Anhui’s third MEB plant in China opens at the same time as Tavascan production. Ground was broken in April 2021, and since March 2022, the plant has been bustling with activity.
An additional Volkswagen-branded model, developed for the dynamic Chinese market, is scheduled to go into production in 2024, while the Cupra Tavascan is prepared for sale to customers in Europe.
Volkswagen is having a significant impact on the future of electric mobility in Anhui with a total investment of RMB 23.1 billion yuan ($3.25 billion). Located in Hefei, Anhui, Volkswagen’s first ever global center for new energy vehicle research and development, innovation, and component sourcing outside of its German headquarters. It’s more than just a production hub.
Volkswagen intends to export electric vehicles made in China to the European market, according to a Bloomberg report from last year. Capacity constraints in Volkswagen’s home market are cited as the reason for this action. I find it peculiar because, as the European story goes, Volkswagen has been having so much trouble selling cars in its home market that it has temporarily halted production on two occasions.
Cupra Tavascan’s impending arrival on European roads begs more questions than it answers about Volkswagen Anhui’s electric future. It appears that shifting production to China is VW’s only option for survival. The ID.7 Vizzion’s less-than-stellar launch, however, serves as evidence that the company is still having difficulties in the Chinese market. A possible missing piece of the puzzle might be production costs. Could it be that Volkswagen should take a good, hard look at its products and figure out what’s wrong?
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