Is Audi missing the train? Reportedly negotiating to buy a purely electric platform from the Chinese

Is Audi missing the train? Reportedly negotiating to buy a purely electric platform from the Chinese
Audi is reportedly considering buying a platform for producing electric cars from one of its Chinese competitors. The reason is said to be the fact that the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) of its parent company Volkswagen Group is delayed and Audi cannot afford to wait.

Audi cannot wait for the “revolutionary” Project Trinity
The German magazine Automobilwoche, citing “corporate circles”, reports that Audi has to be faster in developing electric cars, and therefore is now considering buying a purely electric platform from a Chinese competitor. The matter could be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the supervisory board this week, with Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume stating that he has already approved the project.

Audi is negotiating with several manufacturers. The German premium brand urgently needs a platform to launch new electric cars in China, because the SSP platform is delayed. Volkswagen’s new electric flagship, Project Trinity, which will be the first model built on the SSP platform, will arrive no earlier than 2029 and some reports even talk about 2030. This means that the first Audi model based on SSP is still very far away. The group’s plan assumed the start of Project Trinity in 2026.


Photo by Audi

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Given that Audi must remain competitive in the Chinese market, it must continue delivering new electric vehicles. That is also the reason behind the decision to acquire an external electric vehicle platform, although the automaker stated to Automobilwoche that it has no official information about the plans.

Currently, Audi offers two models based on the group’s MEB electric platform in China: the Q4 e-tron and Q5 e-tron, with the latter being just an electric SUV version of the Volkswagen ID.6 X. Audi and its partner company FAW are constructing a joint electric vehicle production plant in China, which will start manufacturing models based on the PPE platform by the end of 2024. These models include the Audi A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron.


Photo by Audi Q4 Tron

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While the PPE platform brings higher system voltage of 800 V compared to MEB, Audi needs the SSP architecture mainly to make further progress in autonomous driving and software development. Although the report doesn’t mention which Chinese manufacturers Audi is currently negotiating with, several strong candidates come to mind, including Geely and Foxconn.

Geely, upon launching its SEA platform for electric vehicles, stated its intention to make it accessible to other manufacturers as an open-source solution, while Foxconn is willing to manufacture vehicles based on the MIH platform for third parties. A similar philosophy is offered by the ambitious automaker BYD (considered Tesla’s biggest competitor by Musk), which has established the brand FinDreams capable of supplying electric drivetrains and batteries to other manufacturers.


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