Audi is reportedly considering buying an electric vehicle platform from one of its Chinese competitors for the first time. The purported reason for that is the fact parent company Volkswagen Group's Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) is delayed, and Audi cannot afford to wait. 

Citing "company circles," German publication Automobilwoche reported that Audi wants to be faster in EV development, which is why it is now considering buying a platform from a Chinese rival.

The matter could be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Audi's supervisory board this week, possibly on July 11, with Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume said to have already approved the project.

According to unnamed sources cited by Automobilwoche (via Electrive), Audi is already in talks with several manufacturers. The German premium brand badly needs an electric car platform to launch new models in China since the SSP platform is delayed. 

Volkswagen's new electric flagship Project Trinity, which will be the first model underpinned by SSP, is not expected to launch until 2029 – some reports even talk of 2030 – which means that Audi's first SSP-based model is still a long way off. According to Volkswagen Group's original schedule, the Project Trinity was to debut in 2026. 

Gallery: 2022 Audi Q5 E-Tron

Since Audi has to continue to deliver new EVs to remain relevant in the highly competitive Chinese market, the decision to buy an external electric vehicle platform was reportedly made, even though the automaker said it had no official knowledge of the plans when asked by Automobilwoche.

Audi currently offers two MEB-based models in China, the Q4 e-tron and Q5 e-tron, with the latter being a rebadged Volkswagen ID.6 X electric SUV. Both models are built at the plant in Anting.

Audi and its joint venture partner FAW are building an EV plant in China that will produce models based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) from the end of 2024. Models based on this platform include the Audi A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron

While PPE brings further developments compared to MEB, such as a system voltage of 800 volts, Audi needs the SSP architecture to make the next big leap in autonomous driving, software, and production.

The report does not mention which Chinese automakers Audi is currently talking to, but there are several strong candidates, including Geely and Foxconn. 

Geely said at the debut of its SEA electric car platform that it wanted to make it available to other OEMs as an open-source solution, while contract manufacturer Foxconn is willing to build vehicles based on its MIH platform for electric cars to third parties.

BYD also has set up the FinDreams brand for its third-party business, which will allow it to supply electric drives and batteries to other OEMs – not complete platforms, though.

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