China is crucially important for Volkswagen. There is no other region where the brand sells more vehicles. Last year, Volkswagen handed 3.2 million vehicles over to customers in China, reaching a market share of more than 13 percent. This makes Volkswagen a clear market leader in the world's largest and most important automobile market. With its strategy TRANSFORM 2025+, the brand intends to further strengthen its leading position: By 2020, the product range is to be entirely renewed and expanded. This year alone, nine new models are to be launched in China.
"China will have a decisive effect on the success of our future strategy. Last year, more than 3 million people in China opted for a Volkswagen. We intend to and will justify the trust placed in us. We will orient our product range even more closely to the wishes and expectations of Chinese customers. More than ever before, Volkswagen will stand for safety, quality and innovation. Together with our partners at SAIC and FAW, we will underscore the pioneering role of Volkswagen in China," said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.
SUV offensive: at least 10 more SUVs by 2020
The model and innovation offensive focuses on SUVs. The worldwide boom in SUVs is especially strongly marked in China. Current market forecasts indicate that every second new car in China could soon be an SUV. With the Tiguan and the Teramont, the Volkswagen brand already offers two bestsellers. In 2017, the brand delivered about 400,000 SUVs to customers.
Over the next three years, at least 10 more SUV's are to be launched for the Chinese market, including four this year. The new Touareg marks the start of this wave. Volkswagen's flagship SUV proves the technical performance capabilities of the brand – including features such as a fully digital "Innovision Cockpit" which is not available on any other luxury SUV in this form.
E-mobility is another main focus of the model offensive. This year, Volkswagen is already launching a plug-in hybrid version of the Tiguan and a full electric variant of the new Bora. The full electric, fully networked I.D. family based on the modular electrification toolkit (MEB) is being launched in China from 2020. The I.D. will make its debut at almost the same time in Europe, China and the USA.
"Move Forward": brand campaign highlights innovative power
The innovative and creative power of Volkswagen is to be presented to the public in a broad-based holistic communications campaign. Under the motto of "Move Forward", the brand will provide comprehensive information on products, technologies and future plans in China. Today's "SUV Brand Day" in Beijing marks the start of a wide variety of communications and marketing activities ranging from innovative events to social media campaigns.
Volkswagen: a pioneer in the Chinese automotive industry
Volkswagen's success story in China has a long history. The brand already became active in the country more than 30 years ago and is therefore among the pioneers of the Chinese automotive industry. The first vehicle entirely produced in China, a Volkswagen Santana, rolled off the production line in Shanghai in 1985. Since then, together with its joint venture partners SAIC and FAW, the brand has sold more than 27 million vehicles in China and made a significant contribution to the rapid pace of development in the Chinese automotive industry.
Nowadays, Volkswagen is active at 19 production locations throughout the country, including nine vehicle and 10 components plants. In total, 85,000 people work for the Volkswagen Group in China. The product portfolio of the brand currently includes more than 20 models, many of which were developed especially for China, such as the Teramont, the Phideon or the Lamando. In addition to production, Volkswagen is also strengthening its development competences in China, especially in future-oriented areas such as e-mobility and digitalization.
Within the framework of its TRANSFORM 2025+ strategy for the future, Volkswagen is taking action to reposition its business on world markets. Responsibilities previously held centrally in Wolfsburg are increasingly being transferred by the brand so that the regions can act autonomously. The regions will then be responsible for the entire range of business, including decisions on the model portfolio.