The world premiere of the new Touareg in Beijing marks the beginning of a model wave in China with at least 10 more Volkswagen SUVs planned for the world’s biggest auto market by 2020.
CEO Herbert Diess says VW also has given the green light for a nationwide communications campaign intended to further strengthen the brand.
“China is crucially important for VW – there is no other region where the brand sells more vehicles,” he says in a statement.
VW sold 3.2 million units in China last year for a market share topping 13%.
Diess says the automaker’s China product range is to be entirely renewed and expanded by 2020, with nine new models launching this year.
The model and innovation offensive focuses on SUVs. The worldwide boom in SUVs is especially strong in China, with VW saying market forecasts indicate every other new car in China soon could be an SUV.
Over the next three years, at least 10 more SUVs will launch in the Chinese market, including four this year.
E-mobility is another VW focus.
VW this year is launching a plug-in hybrid version of the Tiguan and an all-electric variant of the new Bora. The all-electric, fully networked I.D. range is launching in China in 2020, making its debut at almost the same time in Europe and the U.S.
VW has 19 production locations throughout China, including nine vehicle and 10 components plants. Many of the more than 20 models in its product portfolio have been developed especially for China, including the Teramont, Phideon and Lamando.
The automaker also says it is repositioning its business for world markets. Responsibilities previously held centrally in Wolfsburg are increasingly being transferred so regions can act autonomously and be responsible for the entire business, including decisions on the model portfolio.