Volkswagen AG to begin testing autonomous vehicles in ChinaAugust 27, 2020
The German concern said on Wednesday that it will begin testing autonomous vehicles in the Chinese city of Hefei in eastern China.
China has become a hot spot for unmanned vehicle testing. Toyota-backed Pony.ai, Baidu Inc, Nissan-backed WeRide and Didi Chuxing are already testing autonomous vehicles in different cities as automakers and tech companies are investing billions in these technologies. Volkswagen, China’s largest foreign automaker, will begin testing its Audi E-Tron electric SUVs in Hefei in September, the company said in a statement. Testing will be open from next year.
In May, Volkswagen said it would invest 1 billion euros in acquiring a 50% stake in the state-owned parent company of the Chinese automobile group JAC. Volkswagen will also take full control of its existing electric vehicle joint venture with JAC in Hefei, increasing its stake to 75%. Volkswagen also has businesses with state-owned China FAW Group Corp Ltd and SAIC Motor Corp Ltd.
The German car company sold 1.59 million vehicles in China in the first six months of 2020, down 17% from the same period last year. For all of 2019, Volkswagen sold about 4.23 million vehicles in the country.
In June, Volkswagen invested $ 2.6 billion in self-driving startup Argo AI from Pittsburgh, in which Ford Motor Co also has a stake.
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