The Volkswagen Group wants its electric cars to become true devices with wheels. This is one of Herbert Diess’s greatest ambitions while he is at the helm of the company as CEO, but to achieve such a goal he has admitted that he has to make a million-dollar investment in China and thus be able to compete more directly with the Chinese manufacturers of electric cars that are technologically more outstanding.
Brands such as NIO, Xpeng, BYD or even more recently Xiaomi, are in the midst of a race towards the total popularization of the electric car thanks to autonomous driving technology and are increasingly gaining weight in the commercial sphere in Europe, while that the sales of the German consortium in China, although they account for 40% of its global volume, are gradually falling.
The Chinese market, therefore, represents a great economic asset for the German manufacturer, and designing the next generation of their software in China will allow them to understand and improve based on the needs of this marketwhich will also help a faster global expansion of its technology.
The CEO of the Volkswagen Group, through his LinkedIn profile, has commented that it is not only enough to recruit employees who come from these companies or others of a technological nature and who can contribute their knowledge to the German group, but they will have to establish a new technology center in China to be able to keep up with the rest of the manufacturers.
“China will be one of the engines of growth and technology in the world of #NEWAUTO. That is why we have founded CARIAD also in China: we will develop in China for China within the very fast Chinese ecosystem. Exporting our hardware and software technology from Germany will no longer work. Chinese customers have different needs, Chinese competition moves much faster.”
The German group thus follows the technological trail of the Chinese, which it sees as very strong competitors. Previously Diess commented that Chinese brands have taken advantage of the entry into play of electric cars and the situation of change that this implies: “We always knew that this electric car thing would be a new game in which you start with a blank sheet of paper. Still, I think we are able to compete with our global volume base, with our technology, with product quality with our brands. And I would say our success in this first round of electric car competition makes us pretty confident.”
Beyond the weight that electric cars will have in the future, Diess has commented that the software and technology on board will be an even more disruptive element than the arrival of battery-powered electric cars.