Ever since GM announced its BaoJun, ever since Nissan showed its Qi Chen and Honda launched its Li Nian, creating Chinese car brands has become all the rage. Volkswagen doesn’t want to be left out. Volkswagen, (German for “the people’s car”) plans a standalone brand for the people of the People’s Republic.
Volkswagen-China CEO Wolfgang Neumann confirmed the plans to Germany’s Handelsblatt: “A local brand is our opportunity to participate in segments where Volkswagen is not represented yet.”
Volkswagen wants to create a series of small cars at a low price. The cars are supposed to cost less than $10,000. (VW needs to work on this price point. There are small cars in China that can be had for less than half.) Once Porsche is integrated, the yet unnamed Chinese brand will be number 11 in Volkswagen’s collection.
In 2010, Volkswagen sold nearly twice as many cars in China than back home, and they want to sell more. China is seen as key to Volkswagen’s plans of world domination by 2018.
Which of Volkswagen’s two joint venture partners in China will get the new car? That is up for discussion and negotiation. The contract with SAIC has just been extended until 2030. The current contract with FAW will expire in 2016, it will most likely also be extended.
Someone will most likely also have a chat with Suzuki: „Do you want to have a part of this, or do you want to continue playing the shy bride?”