Volkswagen plans on being a leader in electric vehicles around the world, but its global strategy could be greatly influenced by its success in selling EVs in China.
"China is the most important market worldwide for the Volkswagen group," CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement. "The success of e-mobility in China is decisive for the global execution of the e-mobility strategy."
As previously reported, VW plans on selling 300,000 EVs annually by 2018, accounting for roughly 3 percent of its global sales volume. China, it seems, is key to VW achieving its goals. Industry analysts believe that the market will account for 35 percent of global EV sales, and will surpass the U.S. in electric vehicle purchases by 2019.
At this week's Beijing motor show, Volkswagen will unveil an electric-powered version of its Lavidia sedan, a Golf-based model designed and manufactured in China. VW expects to sell nearly 200,000 examples of the gas-powered version this year, but the EV won't reach the market until 2013 or 2014.
That timeframe is similar to what we've heard for the E-Golf, Volkswagen's first global electric vehicle. Although 500 prototypes will hit the road later this year, VW won't push the car into full-scale production until 2013.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)