Delays with VW Group’s upcoming SSP platform mean Audi will need a new model to fill the gap in its lineup.
This new model could use a platform developed by a Chinese automaker.
Audi is unlikely to use this platform outside of Asia.
The Volkswagen Group is working on a new EV platform that will bring many advancements, notably in terms of autonomous driving, but significant delays have been announced.
Indeed, the company’s Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) was initially planned to launch with the Volkswagen Trinity flagship project in 2026, but it is now said that this electric vehicle might not actually arrive before 2029 or 2030.
Since Audi was banking on its first SSP-based models to solidify its presence in China, the brand will have to come up with a solution in order to remain relevant in this very important market over the rest of the decade.
According to the German publication Automobilwoche, Audi is looking to buy a platform from a Chinese automaker in order to introduce new electric models in Asia without having to develop its own systems.
This would be the first time the company directly sources underpinnings from China, but not its first collaboration with the company’s automakers.
Indeed, Audi is already working with FAW to build a new factory in China that will produce EVs based on the upcoming PPE platform such as the A6 e-tron and the Q6 e-tron, which should arrive toward the end of next year.
While this new platform will feature an 800-volt architecture and more modern technology than the current MEB EV platform, it won’t be able to stand on its own for 5 to 6 years before the next generation of Audi electric vehicles is ready.
At the moment, the company is reportedly in talks with numerous automakers, such as Geely, Foxconn, and BYD.
In the case of Geely, who is the parent company of Volvo and Polestar, such collaboration seems likely since the new SEA platform used by the upcoming Volvo EX30 was engineered with the goal of making it available to other automakers.
Choosing Foxconn is also a possibility since the manufacturing giant is trying to establish itself in the automotive industry by working with partners and sharing its own EV platform.
BYD has previously said it doesn’t want to share complete platforms, but the company recently set up a new brand that will allow it to sell batteries and motors to competitors.
An extraordinary meeting is expected to be held tomorrow at Audi in order to review all of the brand’s options, which means more information on a future partnership could be revealed quite soon.