Volkswagen Group China has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC) and SEAT, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Under the agreement, all parties will leverage their technology and product strengths to develop a battery electric vehicle platform for production at JAC Volkswagen. JAC Volkswagen will introduce the SEAT brand by 2021, and jointly electrify SEAT products with the brand. The construction of JAC Volkswagen R&D centre will start before the end of 2018. The R&D centre will focus on key areas such as connectivity, autonomous driving and other future strategic directions. The signing provides new impetus in the growing partnership between Volkswagen Group China, JAC and SEAT, working together in the important e-mobility market in China.

“E-mobility along with digitalisation, connectivity and autonomous driving are the future of the mobility industry, and China has established itself as a major driver of this transformation,” said Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. “This partnership also represents the benefits of a globalised approach to delivering sustainable mobility.”

VW says the Memorandum of Understanding helps Volkswagen Group take solid steps in the Chinese market. SEAT plays a leading role in implementing the agreement’s initiatives. The products which will be manufactured from the battery electric vehicle platform will address the e-mobility requirements of Chinese customers.

The R&D centre, which will be established through joint efforts, develops connectivity and autonomous driving technologies specifically tailored to the Chinese market. Construction is scheduled to start before the end of this year.

These developments are part of a comprehensive effort by Volkswagen Group China, along with its other joint ventures, FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen, in the e-mobility field, which will see the launch of 30 new energy vehicle 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 1.5m in 2025.