(Yicai Global) Nov. 29 -- Volkswagen and its Spanish car brand Seat have agreed to build an electric vehicle plant in China with joint venture partner Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group.
JAC-Volkswagen, based in Hefei, Anhui province, will introduce the Seat brand to China by 2021, the two parties said in separate statements published on their websites yesterday. The signing ceremony in Madrid was witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
The JV's research and development center will begin work on the new energy model before the end of this year with a focus on connectivity and autonomous driving. Seat will be Volkswagen's fourth line to be made in China, the German automaker's biggest market, after its Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda marques.
"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, global chief executive of Volkswagen. "This partnership also represents the benefits of a globalised approach to delivering sustainable mobility."
Beijing-based Volkswagen China, Seat and JAC signed a deal in Berlin last July in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in which Madrid-based Seat formed the join venture and became VW's lead brand in the project.
Volkswagen, which in 1984 was in the front rank of foreign automakers to produce their brands locally, has moved 4.18 million units in China, with a 5.1 percent annual jump last year, mainly through sales of vehicles made by its SAIC-Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen JVs.
Editor: Ben Armour