Three new EVs planned by 2020, and new partnerships in China with FAW and SAIC
Audi’s May 18 annual general meeting laid out a few key points for the company’s electrification strategy in the coming years.
Most notable was chairman of the board Rupert Stadler’s affirmation that: “We will expand our successful Q family by 2019 with two new concepts – the Q8 and the Q4 – and we will launch our battery-electric e-tron models. Audi plans to launch three new electric models by 2020, after which the brand will gradually electrify models in each of its core series.”
Its first all-electric model, the e-tron Quattro, is due next year, while the e-tron Sportback is expected in 2019. The announcement suggests another is in the works to hit the market during or before 2020. Speculation has suggested the new model could be an electric sedan.
After 2020, the company also confirmed development of a “premium electric car in the compact segment” which will be based on parent VW Group’s modular electrification platform (MEB).
Acceleration of electrification is partly the result of the ongoing diesel emissions scandal continuing to rock Volkswagen.
Stadler’s AGM speech also made reference to the Chinese-exclusive A6 L e-tron, and that it would “localize more plug-in hybrids and electric cars in the next five years” in China.
Following the meeting, Audi announced a new agreement with its businesses in China. Audi, FAW Group and FAW-Volkswagen signed an agreement with the Audi dealer council for a 10-year growth plan which will extend its portfolio of locally produced and imported models in China. Given the drive for electrification in the market, it’s possible that the company may develop even more China-only models in the coming years.
A statement on the agreement confirmed that “the Audi brand at FAW-Volkswagen will bring five new e-tron models to market” and that “collaboration in the field of tool making will be enhanced.”
Audi models from a potential partnership between it and SAIC Motor will be sold through the brand’s existing dealer network in China. Meanwhile VW Group and SAIC are in the process of evaluating a partnership for the production and distribution of Audi models and establishing data and mobility services.