According to the Financial Associated Press, on November 10, a person familiar with the matter said that FAW-Volkswagen has plans to launch its own new energy vehicle brand, "the new brand may use plug-in hybrid technology to supplement the shortcomings of new energy products." FAW-Volkswagen insiders also said: "the company does have this consideration, after all, the domestic plug-in hybrid market has maintained a huge increase."
FAW-Volkswagen officials have not responded to the above news.
In fact, FAW-Volkswagen's plan to launch its own new energy brand is also a surprise for the industry. Thanks to the rapid rise in sales of hybrid models, betting on the hybrid market has become the choice of more and more car companies. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the domestic production and sales of new energy vehicles totaled 3.788 million and 3.747 million in the first half of 2023, an increase of 42.4% and 44.1% respectively over the same period last year, with a market share of 28.3%. Among them, the cumulative sales of pure electric vehicles increased by 31.9% to 2.719 million vehicles compared with the same period last year, and the sales of plug-in models increased by 91.1% to 1.025 million vehicles. In addition, with the rapid rise of the domestic new energy market, FAW-Volkswagen sales in China began to decline, the establishment of a new new energy vehicle brand may ease its pressure in China to some extent.
Data show that FAW-Volkswagen sold 2.162 million vehicles a year in 2020, making it the only passenger car company in China that sold more than 2 million vehicles a year. By 2022, BYD will be the top domestic passenger car company with sales of 1.805 million vehicles, ending the 40-year dominance of joint ventures such as North and South Volkswagen.
After entering 2023, FAW-Volkswagen sales still lag behind BYD. FAW-Volkswagen retail sales from January to October this year were 1.4661 million, down 1.1% from a year earlier, with a market share of 8.5%, ranking second on the list of domestic manufacturers in retail sales, according to data from the Federation of passengers. Another Volkswagen joint venture brand SAIC-Volkswagen also fell 3.8 per cent to 968500 vehicles in the first 10 months of this year. For comparison, BYD sold 2.1428 million vehicles, up 57.2% from a year earlier, with a market share of 12.4%.
Although FAW-Volkswagen still has a high market share in the domestic market, Volkswagen is not only the most determined development of electric vehicles in the new energy market, but also a better international car company in the field of joint venture electric vehicles. However, Volkswagen joint ventures in China have not yet made an appearance in the field of new energy vehicles. From January to October 2023, the top three companies in new energy vehicle sales are BYD, Tesla, Guangzhou Auto E'an, including Geely Motor, SAIC GM Wuling, Changan Automobile and ideal Automobile, according to the Federation of Carriage data. New energy vehicles have also sold more than 200000 vehicles. In the TOP10 list, there is no joint venture car company. In other words, the decline in FAW-Volkswagen sales is only a microcosm of many joint venture brands.
Against the background of the shrinking traditional fuel vehicle market and rising domestic sales of new energy vehicles, joint venture companies, including Volkswagen and Honda, have begun to imitate their own car companies and try to launch independent new energy sub-brands. On September 21 this year, Dongfeng Honda took the lead in launching the new new energy vehicle brand "Lingzhi". This is also the first time that Dongfeng Honda has launched a new new energy vehicle logo in 20 years since it entered China, and its first concept car has also been unveiled around the world.
As for Volkswagen, Volkswagen has previously announced a partnership with Xiaopeng to jointly develop two Volkswagen-branded electric vehicles, while its high-end brand Audi and SAIC jointly develop electric vehicles; in addition, Volkswagen's Jetta brand is in talks with zero-running cars, and FAW-Volkswagen may "buy out" a generation of zero-running platform technology.
Under the dual pressure of electrified transformation and global market competition, joint venture brands that fail to adapt to the market transformation are gradually diluting their market share in China, and even Volkswagen, which has a great determination to transform in the electrified field, is not immune from it. In this context, FAW-Volkswagen plans to promote its own new energy brand or be able to seize part of the market share. Of course, as of press time, FAW-Volkswagen has not yet responded to the news, and more details need to be officially announced.
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