The rumor mill is gaining momentum in China as two more sources have shared new details of Audi’s alleged plans to source its next EV platform from an OEM overseas. Chinese-state owned SAIC Motor appears to be the current frontrunner as discussions with Audi are reportedly advancing and maintaining to the former’s luxury sub-brand IM Motors.
Earlier this week, we shared reports that Audi was shopping around the EV market in China in search for a new partner to purchase an advanced EV platform from. The German legacy automaker has in many ways embraced electrification, but multiple development delays due to its own software issues internally as well as even more setbacks at parent company Volkswagen Group have impeded the company’s progress.
As a result, Audi has fallen behind on sales compared to local luxury competitors like Mercedes-Benz and BMW – which led to the ousting of Duesmann as CEO last month. He will be succeeded by Volkswagen Group veteran Gernot Döllner.
Two sources at Audi familiar with the matter said the automaker was exploring the purchase of a new EV platform in China rather than waiting for the Volkswagen Group to deliver it (current timeline is 2029 – yikes). The sources would not name any specific OEMs involved, but we pointed out Audi had a myriad of viable options to choose from, including BYD, Geely, SAIC Motor, BAIC, GAC, and even FAW which already has a joint venture in China with Volkswagen Group.
Today, more sources have shared that Audi has set its sites on SAIC Motor and is discussing acquiring an EV platform from the Chinese conglomerate’s luxury sub-brand IM Motors.
Audi and SAIC reportedly in talks, but are still hushed
According to Automotive News Europe, two sources familiar with the matter who asked not to be named say Audi is talking with SAIC Motor and those discussions are at an “advanced stage.” The talks pertain specifically to an EV platform from IM Motors – a luxury sub-brand majority owned by SAIC as well as a multinational tech company, Alibaba Group.
Before we found out who Audi has (allegedly) been speaking to in China, sources said Volkswagen Group Oliver Blume had already approved Audi’s strategy to seek EV technology overseas, and that its board could vote to approve the plan as early as this week.
As we creep up on the weekend, an approved and announced partnership seems unlikely this week, but it’s impossible to say for certain since both Audi and SAIC Motor have declined to comment on reports of the possible collaboration. This story continues to be ongoing.
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