Audi is reportedly in talks with SAIC Motor Corp — MG’s parent company — to buy an electric car platform from the Chinese state-owned automaker. Reuters has dubbed it as “an unusual move” to increase market dominance.
As Audi’s electric vehicle (EV) sales slip behind Tesla and indigenous competitors like Nio, the move highlights the pressure on all popular brands in the world’s largest EV market, China.
The sources, on the condition of anonymity, said that Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) wants to acquire IM Motors — SAIC’s EV marque. One of the sources added that the talks are advancing.
IM Motors, a luxury EV brand owned by SAIC and Alibaba Group, began delivering the L7 sedan in June 2022. Audi did not confirm the conversations while SAIC declined to comment.
Reuters was unable to determine Audi’s offer for the EV platform or whether SAIC would continue building the L7 car. Although, Reuters has sighted several indigenous media reports that have hinted at this development.
Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, who will retire in September, told Reuters last month that the firm needed to accelerate model development to satisfy rising demand for EVs, especially in China. He said that a shortage of Chinese-spec vehicles from Audi has hurt the company’s sales.
Audi and Porsche are also creating a new EV platform named “Premium Platform Electric” (PPE) for automobiles produced at its new facility in Changchun, China, by 2024. The company spokespersons claimed the plant will make China-spec PPE platform adjustments.