Seat intends to enter the Chinese market between 2020-2021 with help from Volkswagen.
To make it happen, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Volkswagen Group China and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd. (JAC).
The Spanish brand, which is part of Volkswagen Group, together with VW and one of its JV partners, JAC, will set up a new R&D center for developing electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies by 2021.
Part of the interest will be also a new competitive BEV platform. Seat will become a shareholder in the JAC Volkswagen joint venture too.
For now it's too early to say how many and what plug-in models Seat could offer in China. Volkswagen already is introducing the first models like the JAC SOL E20X.
"This new Memorandum of Understanding will play a key role in Volkswagen Group’s e-mobility plans for China, in order to meet the demands of Chinese customers. Together with JAC and SEAT, Volkswagen Group China will establish a R&D center to develop electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies specifically tailored to the Chinese market, including relevant parts and components and core technologies, with completion planned for 2021. Under the MOU, SEAT will become a shareholder in JAC Volkswagen, through either a capital increase of JAC Volkswagen or a share transfer from Volkswagen Group China. This will result in the introduction of the SEAT brand in the China market, targeting 2020/21.
In addition, the joint venture will launch a competitive BEV platform based on the technological resources of the three parties, so as to provide customers with an even wider choice of vehicles across all segments, both in China and globally. Through the comprehensive electrification initiative “Roadmap E”, together with the strong efforts and contributions from JAC Volkswagen, FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN and Volkswagen Group China will lead the way in the development of e-mobility, with the introduction of 40 locally-produced models to the market within the next 7-8 years."
Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft as well as President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China said:
“It represents another major step in Volkswagen Group’s overall China strategy, further demonstrating our commitment to the country and our determination to be a leader in e-mobility.”
“Electrified cars are the future of mobility and China is at the forefront of developing sustainable e-mobility solutions. We are proud to have the opportunity to further collaborate with a trusted partner in developing E-mobility technologies. It represents another major step in Volkswagen Group’s overall China strategy.”