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Audi in talks to buy electric platform from Chinese automaker SAIC: report


It’s understood that Audi could launch more EVs in China to compete with Tesla with a new platform under its belt  

Audi is reportedly looking to buy an electric vehicle platform from major Chinese automaker SAIC. 

The report from Automotive News indicates that Audi is looking to acquire EV technologies from SAIC’s EV business, known as IM Motors. 

IM Motors, which is a premium electric vehicle brand, launched its first model, the L7, in 2022 for the Chinese market. 

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Audi is looking to expand on its EV offerings with a new platform

The L7 is a luxury saloon car that was initially envisioned to compete with the Tesla Model S sedan and could be a strong rival for vehicles such as the BMW i7 electric limousine

Audi is reportedly trying to strengthen its EV lineup, with the enhanced Volkswagen-Group SSP platform likely to not debut until 2029.

Globally, current Audi electric cars include the Audi E-Tron GT coupe and the E-Tron SUV and Coupe, along with the Audi Q4 E-Tron, Q8 E-tron and SQ8 E-Tron.  

Volkswagen MEB platform demonstrator
The Volkswagen MEB platform currently underpins several models

In the wider Volkswagen range, the portfolio includes the ID3, ID4, ID5, the E-Golf and the ID.Buzz van.  

Current Volkswagen Group electrified platforms include the MEB platform (used for Cupra Born, Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID4) and the MLB platform (a combustion platform tweaked for electric cars such as the Audi Q8 E-tron) and the full-electric J1 platform (used for the Audi E-tron GT/ Porsche Taycan). 

Who is SAIC Motor and why does their influence matter?

SAIC owns MG Motors who produce the new MG4

SAIC Motor is a state-owned Chinese automotive manufacturer based in Shanghai. SAIC currently owns MG, along with LDV, both of which are sold locally here in Australia. 

SAIC Motor is the largest state-owned car manufacturer in China, ahead of other marques such as the FAW Group, Dongfeng Motor and Changan Automobile. 

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Volkswagen Group has held a joint venture with SAIC since 1984

It’s not the first time the Volkswagen Group has been affiliated with SAIC. In fact, Volkswagen currently has a joint venture with SAIC to build Volkswagen branded cars in China. This includes Skoda, Audi and Volkswagen badged vehicles. 

The joint venture began in 1984. In 2014 alone, it produced around 1.73 million cars.

Total production output for SAIC in 2021 was 5.4 million vehicles – roughly five times the amount of cars sold in Australia during 2022.

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