Hardly anywhere else in the world is the automotive market as competitive as in China. Volkswagen is also a big player in the People’s Republic. To ensure that this remains the case in the future, the Wolfsburg-based automotive group also wants to build affordable electric cars exclusively for China and modernize its customer policy. However, the vehicles should not be too small.
Small cars are a no-go for VW
According to a report in the Frankfurter Zeitung, VW has a special China strategy in place. In doing so, the approach is in part quite different from that in the rest of the world. On the one hand, there is the fact that very small cars are to become taboo. This includes models that are popular in this country, such as the VW Up. Instead, the Group wants to expand its range of small and compact cars for Chinese customers. This includes, for example, the VW ID.3, which was the automaker’s first model based on the MEB platform.
One of the reasons for the change in strategy for the Chinese market is the balance of power that prevails in the People’s Republic. According to Volkswagen, it simply makes no sense to continue to sell subcompact cars. After all, Chinese brands already dominate this market. In addition, VW would like to continue offering combustion engines in China alongside electric cars. This was made clear by the country head for VW in China, Rolf Brandstätter, to the FAZ. The company does not want to give up its position as one of the most important manufacturers in the field of electric mobility in the process.
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VW wants to adapt to Chinese customers
During his interview, Brandstätter also let FAZ know that VW wants to revise its customer policy in the People’s Republic. In particular, he said, an adaptation to the young buyer base, which plays a major role in China, is necessary. In the future, for example, the company would like to offer this group the opportunity to obtain information from a VW salesperson online. The subsequent purchase of the vehicle should then also be possible via the Internet. There are also likely to be some changes in analog sales talks. As in Germany, VW is relying on car dealerships in China, which are primarily located on the outskirts of cities or in inaccessible business parks.
The group wants to have more of a presence, and in the future it will also focus on showrooms in shopping malls. Of course, the supply chain issue also plays a major role in the automaker’s future China policy. It is clear that the company wants to focus more on suppliers in China. Whether this is a good idea in view of the current tense situation remains to be seen. If Brandstätter has his way, the “cooperation with local suppliers” should at least be made even closer. This should not only offer more security in production. On top of that, VW’s China boss also expects shorter production times and certainly lower costs.
Large cars have great importance
For fans of subcompact cars from VW, the news is probably not too good. After all, the Chinese market will probably continue to play a major role in determining the automaker’s global strategy in the coming years. It is therefore not surprising that the flagships of well-known companies are now also celebrating their premiere in the People’s Republic. The VW ID.7 shown for the first time at CES 2023 is also a vehicle that we will probably first see rolling on Chinese roads. The spiritual successor of the Phaeton is supposed to graze the customers in the upper class of the competition. Whether the plan to increase the market share from just under 25 percent at present to 30 percent in 2023 will work out depends closely on the release of the electric sedan.