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Home » Inside Volkswagen Anhui’s Ambitious Tie-Up With Chinese EV XPeng

Inside Volkswagen Anhui’s Ambitious Tie-Up With Chinese EV XPeng

Volkswagen Anhui

When Volkswagen Anhui announced its strategic partnership with XPeng last year, it turned more than a few heads. In a latest interview, VW Anhui CEO Thomas Ulbrich pulled back the curtain on just how ambitious—and potentially game-changing—this tie-up with one of China’s EV tech darlings could prove.

For starters, the two companies are co-developing not one but two new electric vehicle models based on VW’s entry-level CMP platform tailored specifically for the Chinese market. Thanks to XPeng’s cutting-edge expertise in autonomous driving systems, advanced computing, and driver assist features, Thomas says VW has been able to shave a staggering 1-2 years off typical development timelines.

Over 100 VW engineers are already embedded at XPeng’s Guangzhou HQ working hand-in-glove on the project, with the first co-developed model expected to hit production in 2026, efficient collaboration at its finest.

Partnership runs much deeper than just these initial models. XPeng’s high-performance ADAS platform will be the premium autonomous driving solution powering VW’s entire China lineup. More affordable alternatives from Horizon Robotics and DJI will handle lower trims.

Perhaps just as significant as the tech tie-up is the localized, China-first approach Thomas describes VW Anhui taking. Unlike the bloated global requirements of previous VW projects, this independent China venture can make streamlined decisions solely for the domestic market—shifting key R&D and supply chain authority from German HQ to the local team.

The result? A 30% faster development cycle and an aggressive 40% cost reduction target through platform optimization with Chinese partners FAW and SAIC.

With an agile, China-focused strategy and XPeng’s tech prowess in its corner, it’s clear VW Anhui is pulling out all the stops to gain serious EV ground in its most crucial market. Don’t be surprised if this partnership raises the bar for automotive collaborations in China.

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