Wolfsburg / Beijing (dpa) - The Volkswagen Group is pushing its electric offensive in China with investments worth billions.
In addition to the entry into battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech - formerly Guoxuan High-Tech, which was announced on Thursday, the Wolfsburg-based company is also increasing its stake in the electrical joint venture JAC Volkswagen, as the company announced in Beijing. VW also takes over half of the shares in JAC's mother, the state-owned JAG. The group is investing a total of around 2 billion euros, around one billion of which will go to Gotion High-Tech.
"Together with strong and reliable partners, Volkswagen is continuing to expand its e-offensive in China," said CEO Herbert Diess, according to the announcement. «The segment of electric cars is growing rapidly and offers great potential for JAC Volkswagen. With our strategic stake in Gotion, we are also actively promoting the development of the battery cell in China. » VW China CEO Stephan Wöllenstein spoke of a strategic milestone.
Volkswagen intends to deliver around 1.5 million electric cars in its by far largest single market, China, in 2025. JAC is the smallest joint venture of the Wolfsburgers in the state so far, with the larger partners FAW and SAIC, VW has become the market leader in the People's Republic. JAC was founded in 2017 to build small and medium-sized electric cars. Five additional models are planned by 2025, the construction of a plant for electric models and a research and development center in Hefei.
At Gotion High-Tech, VW becomes the largest single shareholder with a stake of around 26 percent. Volkswagen is therefore the first foreign group to invest directly in a battery manufacturer in China. "For the first time, Volkswagen is taking on a strategic role in a state-owned company in the country and is investing directly in a Chinese battery supplier," said Wöllenstein. The agreement has no impact on current contracts with other battery suppliers, it said.
The batteries are considered a scarce commodity when starting up electric mobility, which is why car manufacturers are trying to secure their access to sufficient capacity. Volkswagen also wants to manufacture battery cells in Europe, which not every automaker is tackling because of the high investment costs. A production facility is being built in Salzgitter with the Swedish battery specialist Northvolt, which the works council, among others, had insisted on. Experts and companies estimate that the battery in future electric cars will account for a large part of the added value.
The two deals are expected to be completed by the end of the year. After the easing of investment restrictions for foreign auto companies, Volkswagen had already speculated that Volkswagen could get a bigger stake in JAC. The carmaker BMW also increases its stake in its Chinese joint venture BBA to more than half, which was previously the upper limit.