Volkswagen unveils entry-level EV platform for Chinese market

  • With European manufacturers struggling against the competitiveness of Chinese EVs in their local market, Volkswagen has announced development of a new China-specific platform to develop even cheaper EVs to better compete against options from manufacturers such as BYD and GWM.
  • Named the ‘A Main Platform’, and derived from the company’s MEB electric platform used on models such as the ID.3, EVs produced on this specific architecture will utilise a much higher proportion of Chinese-made components to minimise import tariffs and production costs, keeping retail prices down.
  • The platform is set to come to market in 2026, with four models on the way, and the cheapest set to start at around 140,000 Chinese Yuan – equivalent to around £15,600.

Volkswagen has announced its plan to introduce a budget-oriented EV platform exclusively for the Chinese market, as reported by Reuters. Looking solely at EVs, Volkswagen was the seventh best selling brand in China in the first three quarters of the year, beaten by local rivals such as BYD, Wuling, Nio, and even Tesla from the US. This new platform aims to help the company claw back market share in a highly competitive EV sector.

The models will be built locally with assistance from SAIC and FAW, two manufacturers which the company already has partnerships setup with. VW has evidenced the potential cost savings by sourcing locally produced components for this upcoming platform: with the price of its dashboard displays reducing 37% after switching from a global to a Chinese supplier. The new platform will also reduce development times of models on the platform to just two-and-a-half years, compared to the current four year development timeline. The news comes after VW announced an investment in Chinese EV maker XPENG, which will result in VW-branded EVs with XPENG underpinnings coming to market in China in 2026.

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