Lavida (VW)

Jan 17, 2022

According to various media reports dated January 13, Global car producers Toyota and Volkswagen's plants in Tianjin have been shut down since January 10 as the city battles a new epidemic.
Volkswagen has decided to temporarily shut down FAW-VW’s Tianjin plant (mainly producing SUVs such as the Tayron series and the Audi Q3) and the Volkswagen automatic transmission (Tianjin) plant (mainly producing electric drive systems on the Lavida EV of SAIC Volkswagen, the Audi Q2L e-tron of FAW Volkswagen, and the ID.4, as well as transmissions on the Magotan GTE and the Tayron GTE) jointly operated with FAW Group in Tianjin. Toyota has also suspended the production in its Tianjin plant (mainly producing models such as Allion and Corolla Cross). Both plants have conducted COVID-19 testing twice for all employees and are waiting for the results. Two automakers both plan to resume operations as soon as possible.
From various media sources
Keyword: plant operating status

Aug 17, 2021

According to various media sources on August 6, 2021, SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. (SAIC VW) is preparing to transform its Changsha plant into a New Energy Vehicle (NEV) plant manufacturing MEB-based models through technological upgrades. 
SAIC VW currently manufactures the Touran L MPVs, Lavida sedans and Kodiaq SUVs at the Changsha plant, which has an annual capacity of 300,000 units. The automaker will launch the construction of BEV (battery electric vehicle) power battery manufacturing facilities with an annual capacity of 150,000 sets of ternary lithium battery at the Changsha plant. These facilities will support the production of ternary lithium batteries in three capacity configurations (55kWh, 62kWh and 82kWh).   
In addition, the Changsha plant will include newly-built BEV manufacturing facilities, which will have an annual capacity of 100,000 units and is expected to begin trial production in June 2023 and official operation in April 2024.
From various media sources and a Changsha Economic and Technological Development Zone press release

Mar 22, 2021

Against the background of a pandemic-induced contraction in the global auto industry, China’s New Energy Vehicle (NEV) market has bucked the trend, closing 2020 with growth of 13% year-on-year. Supportive government policies were one of the main driving forces behind this expansion, but the rapidly changing nature of the NEV sector was also a major contributing factor.

One of the critical developments is the arrival of NEV-specific platforms. In the past, most vehicles in the sector were built on traditional vehicle platforms, with modifications to the chassis and appearance. This lack of distinction did little to attract buyers, resulting in weak sales volumes. Key examples are the Volkswagen Lavida and Ford Territory. But as automakers began to appreciate the importance of the NEV market, they focused on developing bespoke platforms such as the Volkswagen MEB, the BYD e and the GAC GEP. These tailored architectures have brought a new level of competitiveness to the sector and will help to bring vehicle costs down over the longer term.

Another critical factor is the improvement in product quality. To take advantage of government subsidies, most NEVs launched by the domestic brands in China were previously destined for use by leasing companies, with most models belonging in the low-cost and economy segments. These segments once accounted for 56% of the overall NEV market, but – based on the latest insurance data figures – this ratio has now declined to 43.5%. This contrasts with 56.2% for the Premium and near-Premium segments in 2020, with the Tesla Model 3 leading the way. When it comes to Intelligent Connected Vehicles, the technology has evolved significantly, with driver monitoring systems becoming increasingly more sophisticated year after year. This is particularly true of Chinese startups, such as NIO, Xpeng and WM Motor, whose collective penetration of the BEV market reached 10% last year.

Further support has come from clearer and more realistic government measures. One example is the local government of Shanghai’s recent release of an ‘implementation plan for accelerating the development of the NEV industry (2021-2025)’. One might argue that the industry is no longer focused solely on purchase subsidies, with infrastructure, parking fees and driving restrictions taking on greater importance.

Finally, the rapid increase in NEV credit value has also influenced the expansion of the market. In 2019, NEV credits were worth around CNY500-800, but this has now risen to CNY3,000.

As these various developments become increasingly entrenched, they will drive further expansion of the NEV market, leading us to forecast growth of around 55% in 2021, on total sales of approximately 2 million units.

(LMC Automotive blog on March 16, 2021)

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