Heizmann jochem

Volkswagen Group China (VWGC) is seeking to pioneer the future of mobility and reshape the definition of what it is to be a car company as the automotive industry heralds a new era of e-mobility, ride-hailing and car sharing, autonomous driving and connectivity.

At a media workshop ahead of the 2016 Guangzhou auto show, VWGC outlined initiatives and new products aimed at transforming itself from a car manufacturer to a people-centered provider of sustainable mobility under its TOGETHER - Strategy 2025, reports ChinaDaily.

Jochem Heizmann, member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG and president and CEO of Volkswagen Group China (pictured above), said the company wants to be a forerunner in the future of mobility.

"To reach our goal of providing smart and trend-setting mobility solutions, we will forge strong partnerships and advance our competencies in China, for China, to be prepared to deliver around 1.5 million battery electric vehicles to customers in one of our most important markets by 2025."

Underscoring its ambition, the VWGC has already employed 3,600 people to work on its research and development teams in China - which will increase continuously - and it will maintain its strong investment with its joint ventures in China in 2017.

ChinaDaily also confirms that the company is seeking to build alliances with Chinese companies in key areas, including new mobility services.

It announced an agreement with Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing provider, on Nov 16.

The two will bring into play their respective strengths in product marketing, branding and data technologies to provide a high-quality, safe and efficient mobility service for ride-hailing.

Volkswagen Group China has confirmed a deal with its two automotive partners in Changchun and Shanghai to set up a three-party partnership to tap into the rapidly growing pre-owned car market.

Innovative finance leasing products

The partnership aims to create a new e-commerce platform that incorporates innovative financial leasing products and the benefits of big data.

The three parties are also aiming to set up a strategic cooperation with Youxin Group, one of China's leading online pre-owned car platforms.

VWGC is also working with Shouqi Group to grow the car-sharing business in China, with the ambition of serving millions of customers in cities across the country.

In addition to its efforts to move into new business areas, the automaker is transforming its current business with a strong focus on e-mobility to strengthen its existing portfolio of plug-in hybrid models and battery electric vehicles.

The MQB platform can be equipped with improved lithium-ion battery technology, which will increase the range of the upcoming e-Golf to 300 kilometers.

A new modular electrification platform, called MEB, will roll out in the group from 2020, offering a pure electric range of up to 600 km.

VWGC is already on the way with Jianghuai Automobile Co to produce additional pure electric vehicles for the growing economy segments.

"These are the four vital mainstays to offering our customers a full range of pure battery cars," Heizmann said.

Volkswagen AG is also forging ahead with its research and development efforts in China, with one of three future centers worldwide to be located in Beijing, where designers and digitization experts will work hand-in-hand.

Heizmann sees strong potential for further growth in the Chinese market.

He said VWGC will keep its promise to continue to excite more and more customers as it advances toward its main goal of sustainable mobility in China.

The automaker is also building on its strong commitment to Chinese society, with programs educating children on road safety, supporting environmental protection and fostering cultural exchange.

The VWGC's corporate social responsibility fund has just received another CHY50 million ($7.3 million) in funding.