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Volkswagen Announces EV Plants in China to Compete With Tesla

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【Summary】In roughly 12 months, Volkswagen aims to have two electric-vehicle plants in China operational to build a total of 600,000 battery-powered cars to take on Tesla.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 19, 2019 6:00 AM PT
Volkswagen Announces EV Plants in China to Compete With Tesla

It's been roughly 11 years since Tesla introduced the all-electric Roadster, and the company is still outpacing traditional automakers when it comes to range, features, and popularity. Tesla even has its production, now that the issues have all been worked out, down pat. Volkswagen, which is aiming to become a leader in the electric segment, is now looking to take on Tesla in the manufacturing of electric cars.

New Chinese Plants For EV Assembly

According to a report by Bloomberg, Volkswagen, which is the largest automaker in the world, recently announced plans to build two automotive plants in China. These plants will focus on manufacturing a total of 600,000 vehicles that will be built on the automaker's dedicated battery-car platform that's called MEB. The factories will be located in Anting and Foshan, and are set to open a couple of months after the company's Zwickau plant in Germany. That facility is on track to open by the end of the year and assembly roughly 330,000 cars a year.

The goal of the new plants is to beat Tesla in the manufacturing game. Bloomberg claims that Tesla only has one vehicle assembly plant, which is located in Fremont, California that's responsible for assembling approximately 500,000 EVs. Tesla does have plans to come out with a new plant in Shanghai at the end of this year that can accommodate the production of 250,000 cars a year.

How New Plants Fit Into The Picture

Volkswagen's new plants in China will play a large role in the automaker's ability to reach its lofty goals. The German automaker has plans to manufacture 70 EVs by 2028. Not all of those will wear VW badges, but all will fit under VW's umbrella, which houses 12 automakers. During that same time period, VW hopes to manufacture 22 million EVs. It's a massive change from what the brand is currently doing, marking an enormous shift in ideology for the world's largest automaker. Not to mention, a costly shift, too.

"Volkswagen leads the competition on e-mobility," said Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess in a speech at VW's annual meeting in Berlin. "As a company we'll make a success of the electric car – with the right products, superior underpinnings and global economies of scale."

Manufacturing cars at an alarming rate is one part of the puzzle, while another part focuses on making electric cars for all of these EVs. The outlet claims that VW has partnered with Northvolt AB, a Swedish company, to begin production of batteries in the brand's Salzgitter, Germany factory.

If there's one brand that can rival Tesla for the production of electric vehicles, it has to be the largest brand on the planet. Only time will tell, though, if VW can really take on Tesla at its own game.

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