(Yicai Global) April 19 -- Volkswagen Group, the German car company behind marques such as Porsche and Audi, intends to invest EUR1 billion (USD1.1 billion) to build 100% TechCo, a research and development center for connected electric vehicles in eastern China's Hefei.
The R&D, innovation, and procurement hub with its 2,000 employees should reduce the development time of new Volkswagen products and technologies by about 30 percent, the Wolfsburg-based company revealed during the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition that opened yesterday.
The 100% TechCo is expected to be ready by early 2024 to develop and procure vehicles and parts to ensure the company's products respond to the needs of Chinese customers.
Marcus Hafkemeyer, chief technology officer of Volkswagen Group China, will become the chief executive of the new center. Hafkemeyer said that the hub will play a key role in the development of fresh models slated to be launched in 2024. First, the 100% TechCo will coordinate with Volkswagen's Anhui plant that makes electric vehicle models based on the firm's MEB platform to meet market demand, the CTO said
Volkswagen can significantly accelerate the development of smart electric vehicles by closely linking R&D and procurement, as well as cooperating with local high-tech companies in the early stages, Ralf Brandstatter, chairman of the Chinese arm of the German firm, said. This should further strengthen cooperation efficiency between Volkswagen and joint ventures while optimizing profitability, he added.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi