SVW AntingChina – The decision between Volkswagen and SAIC to grow the main facility of their joint venture, SVW, will enable the full localisation of VW electric vehicles (EVs) on a gradual basis. In four years’ time, a new EV based on VW’s Chinese bestseller, the Lavida, will roll off the line at Anting – the first fully electric model produced by the plant.

“We have been at home in China for more than 30 years. Over the next four years, we plan to localise more than 15 different electric vehicle models in China, including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles,” commented Jochem Heizmann, member of the board of management at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, and president and CEO of Volkswagen Group China.

With the development and local production of EVs and their components, VW is furthering its R&D expertise in China; the OEM said it will intensify its research into fuels cells and plug-in hybrids. It was also confirmed that a new, C-segment model of the VW brand will be produced at Anting from 2016.

The newly announced developments form part of the €22 billion ($24.6 billion) investment programme planned by the Volkswagen Group and its joint venture partners by 2019, which will be funded from the cash flow of Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen.

The Group currently has 20 vehicle and component production locations in the country, and together with its partners delivered 3.7m vehicles in 2014 – a 12.4% increase on the year before.