Audi and SAIC to Team Up for New EV Projects

For prospective EV initiatives, Chinese automaker SAIC and German automaker Audi have officially announced their collaboration. As reported by Car Expert the announcement reads:

“All stakeholders agree that the Chinese auto market is in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history, therefore we will jointly work on a strategic approach that guarantees our future success.”

Last week, Reuters reported that Audi was in talks with SAIC to obtain an EV platform. The platform is owned by IM Motors, a partnership between SAIC Motor and the Chinese tech firms Zhangjiang Hi-Tech and Alibaba Group.

IM Motors EV platform 3
IM Motors EV platform

As the development of the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) is experiencing delays, it has been reported that Audi is turning to partners outside the Volkswagen Group. However, it is yet unknown whether the vehicles built on the IM Motors platform would be sold only in China or in other markets too.

Audi’s electric vehicle sales in China have lagged behind those of its rivals, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). In the first quarter alone, Audi sold just over 3,000 EVs in China, compared to BMW’s 21,646 sales and Tesla’s 137,429 sales.

Audi’s “Sphere concepts”

Audi will reportedly build electric vehicle models on the IM Motors platform that are based on the Activesphere, Skysphere, Urbanphere, and Grandsphere concept cars from the German automaker. The platform has already been deployed in the IM L7 premium electric sedan and the LS7 electric SUV.

2022 Zhiji L7 10
IM L7 electric sedan

The Volkswagen Group has grown to include brands like Skoda, Seat, Porsche, Bentley, and Bugatti. To cut costs and achieve economies of scale, the corporation has adopted platform sharing.

Up until recently, each of their platforms—including the MEB electric vehicle platform, the MQB front- and all-wheel-drive internal combustion engine platform, and the MLB longitudinal ICE platform—was created in-house. The group is starting to explore further afield due to rising development expenditures.

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