In order to improve the competitiveness of electric vehicles, Audi may purchase platform licenses from Chinese car companies to shorten the development time of its models, according to media reports today. At the same time, the report also revealed that Audi is currently in negotiations with competitors.
In fact, Audi has not developed well in the process of electrified transformation in recent years, lagging behind competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Oliver Blume, CEO of Volkswagen, has also said that the Audi brand is lagging behind its competitors, especially in the software area of electric vehicles. "the Audi brand has great potential, but it has not been shown in recent years," it said. We did not defend its lead over its main competitors and we had to postpone the planning of exciting electric cars because of software problems. Oliver Bloom also pointed out that Audi's current pure electric vehicle product line is not competitive in the Chinese market.
It is worth noting that Audi's sales in the world and in China have also been unsatisfactory in recent years. Figures show that Audi sold 1.614 million vehicles worldwide in 2022, down 3.9% from a year earlier. Audi sold 643000 vehicles in China in 2022, down 8.4 per cent from a year earlier. Compared with competitors Mercedes-Benz and BMW, there is a certain gap. As a reference, Mercedes-Benz sold 2.044 million vehicles worldwide in 2022 and 791900 in China. BMW sold 2.101 million vehicles worldwide in 2022 and 751700 in China.
The situation has not improved in 2023, and the relevant data show that Audi's cumulative sales in China from January to March in 2023 were 136416 vehicles, down 16% from the same period last year. To this end, Audi has also made a lot of adjustments, such as personnel transfer and speeding up the electrification process. On June 29th, Audi officially announced that Gernot Dollner, vice president of products and group strategy of Volkswagen Group, will replace Audi's current CEO Marcus Dussmann (Markus Duesmann) as Audi's new CEO, effective September 1, 2023.
In order to speed up the pace of electrification, Audi displayed pure electric products such as Audi Q4 e-tron, Q5 e-tron and RS e-tron GT, as well as Audi A6 Avant e-tron and urbansphere concept models at the Shanghai Auto Show in April this year. Dr. Dr J ü rgen Unser, president of Audi China, said: "We have big plans for the future. We will strengthen Audi's position in China by innovating product production and optimizing sales network. Over the past 35 years, we have won the trust of consumers and have very good partners. With the launch of new products, we will certainly have a better performance in the market. "
At present, according to Audi China's official website, Audi is selling electric models such as Q4 e-tron, e-tron, Q2L e-tron and Q5 e-tron, with a price range of 200000-500000 yuan, but the sales performance of these models is not eye-catching. Relevant data show that from January to May 2023, the cumulative sales of Q4 e-tron, e-tron, Q2L e-tron and Q5 e-tron were 6631, 170,70 and 1501 respectively.
Earlier, the Q6-e-tron, a blockbuster model for Audi's electrified transformation, was also forced to postpone the release several times because of software problems. It is understood that the car is positioned as a pure electric medium-sized SUV, based on the new electric vehicle platform PPE production, can be charged from 10% to 80% in only 21 minutes, but also supports semi-autonomous driving function. With the delayed release of Q6-e-tron, it is not difficult to find that Audi is somewhat inadequate in the era of electrification.
Although according to the official plan, 20 new models, including 10 electric cars, will be launched gradually by the end of 2025. Starting from 2026, new models launched for the global market will be fully switched to pure electric vehicles, and the production of internal combustion engine models will be phased out by 2033. However, at this stage, Audi's electrification speed is still a bit slow, if you can buy electric car platform license from Chinese car companies, it can indeed speed up the electrification process.
At this stage, the development of electrification has become the main theme of the global automobile industry. In the Chinese market, the rapid development of new energy vehicles is even more remarkable. Many new car-building forces and independent brand models have gradually eroded the market share of luxury brand fuel vehicles. Under this background, Audi must also speed up the electrification transformation strategy. It not only needs to launch more high-end electric models that meet the needs of the market, but also needs to take into account the continuous improvement in technology, performance, battery life and other aspects to regain the competitiveness of the brand.
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