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16.8 billion! Volkswagen sets up a new joint venture in China

2024-06-17 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


AutoBeta( Report--

On December 8, Horizon and CARIAD, a software company owned by Volkswagen Group, officially announced the formation of a joint venture, CARIZON, which is based in Beijing and plans to recruit more than 300 employees by the end of 2023. Horizon said the new joint venture will integrate Horizon's soft and hard technology capabilities and CARIAD's expertise in smart body and software system integration to develop full-stack advanced driving assistance systems and self-driving solutions.

Tianyan check shows that the core operating body "Ku Ruicheng (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd." was established on November 20, 2023, with a registered capital of 6.757 billion yuan. Chairman Peter Bosch is CARIAD's new CEO, legal representative and general manager Alexis Trolin is head of CARIAD E3 platform (end-to-end electrical and electronic architecture), and vice chairman Yu Kai is Horizon founder and CEO. In terms of shareholding structure, Cariad Estonia Limited (CARIAD) holds 60 per cent and Horizon 40 per cent.

A year ago, on October 23, 2022, CARIAD, a software company owned by Volkswagen Group, announced a joint venture with Horizon to speed up the development of advanced driving assistance and autopilot systems for the Chinese market. It has been revealed that Volkswagen Group plans to invest about 2.4 billion euros in this cooperation. According to previous official announcements, the cooperation between the two sides mainly focused on full-stack advanced driving assistance systems and self-driving solutions-- improving system stability, saving costs and reducing energy consumption by integrating multiple functions on a single chip.

CARIAD, formerly known as Car.Software Organisation, the software division of Volkswagen established in 2020, was initiated by Herbert Dis, former CEO of Volkswagen Group, to create a self-developed on-board operating system VW.OS to strengthen Volkswagen Group's software capabilities and apply different versions of it to all group car brands in the future. the first model to carry is Volkswagen ID.3. However, Volkswagen's management was outraged because various BUG led to mass production plans, forcing Volkswagen to abandon plans to list ID.3 in the summer. Later, the then Volkswagen Group CEO Dis further increased its investment in software, even turning the division into a CARIAD, avoiding interference from within the Volkswagen Group, and setting up subsidiaries in a number of countries around the world, including China.

Established in July 2015, Horizon is a brand of Beijing Horizon Robot Technology Research and Development Co., Ltd., which is mainly engaged in the research and development of intelligent chips. According to SkyEye survey, the horizon has completed 15 rounds of financing, including BYD, Great Wall Motor, GAC GROUP, Dongfeng Motor, China FAW, Chery Holdings and so on, which also means that Horizon may become their supplier in the future. In terms of products, Horizon has launched four autopilot chips, which have provided autopilot chips to Changan UNI-V, self-swimmer NV, Ruihu 8 PRO, Roewe RX5, ideal L8 and other models.

Horizon attaches great importance to this cooperation. According to a number of media reports, after the official announcement of the cooperation between Horizon and CARIAD, Horizon CTO Huang Chang led a team to join the joint venture and devolved Horizon's current technology to the joint venture. The planned business scope includes L2-level auxiliary driving, high-speed navigation assisted driving, automatic parking and other functions, but the news has not been officially confirmed. At the same time, Horizon is also hiring on a large scale. Su Qing, once Huawei's chief terminal architect, became minister of smart driving products after Huawei set up its smart car solutions business unit. However, Suqing was ousted because of Suqing's inappropriate remarks against Tesla in 2021. After leaving Huawei, Suqing was rumored to join the Horizon, leading high-end intelligent driving projects, including the Expedition 6 platform project.

Why does the public begin to attach importance to software capabilities? Because the sense of experience is so poor, the problem is mainly focused on smart cockpit and smart driving, and the launch of new cars by a number of brands, including Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and Bentley, has had a serious impact. In addition, Volkswagen ID. Series of electric vehicles are also frequently complained by car owners because of software problems. With Volkswagen's current software research and development strength, it really needs to cooperate with other companies, and the realization of Horizon products on Volkswagen's products in China can undoubtedly change the public's impression of the lack of intelligence on Volkswagen's vehicles. The most important thing is to be available immediately and buy time for follow-up research and development of truly proprietary technology.

In addition to working with Horizon, CARIAD also established a joint venture with China Cochrane Chuangda earlier, which fully proves that Volkswagen urgently needs to make a difference in the field of intelligence, and that Chinese technology manufacturers have been recognized by multinational automobile companies. On the other hand, adding weight to China also shows the importance of the Chinese market to Volkswagen.

According to the data, Volkswagen Group delivered 6.7158 million new cars worldwide in the first three quarters of 2023, an increase of 10.9% over the same period last year. Among them, sales in China were 2.2891 million, down 3.0% from the same period last year, accounting for 34.1% of the global market share. It is the largest single market in the world, but it is the only one that has declined.

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