Volkswagen plans to buy a subsidiary of Huawei for the sake of unmanned technology
A possible deal was discussed for several months. It is assumed that VW will be able to use the developments to create their future models.
Sales results for the Volkswagen brand in China have been declining since 2018. Customers bought 2,609,266 vehicles during Covid 2020, down 15.8 from the previous year, according to Carsalesbase. And at the end of last year, German brand cars were sold in China with a circulation of 2,164,946 units (17% less than a year earlier). Another deal with local manufacturer Huawei is likely to help bolster VW’s position in this market.
According to the German edition of Manager Magazin, the German company Volkswagen has been in talks with Huawei for several months: it is assumed that after their results, VW will buy a subsidiary of the Chinese IT giant. We are talking about a division that develops automotive technology for autonomous control.
Huawei aims to develop a Level 5 autopilot for passenger cars by 2025. Now some models are equipped with a level 3 autonomous driving system. The division of the IT giant is gradually moving towards its goal: for example, in September last year, an unmanned “level 3.5" technological system, designated by the manufacturer, was introduced.
Now Volkswagen is developing unmanned technologies, this work is carried out jointly with Argo AI (including in cooperation with Ford). In the future, the manufacturer intends to use these developments in the form of lidar systems to equip future commercial vehicles. However, in the event of an agreement with Huawei, the manufacturer will later be able to use these technologies to create “cars of the future” with full autopilot, as CEO Herbert Diess recently spoke about. He believes that the development of such transport should be expected in the next 25 years, and as a result, this will reduce the number of road accidents to zero.
There is no estimate of the amount of the agreement between Volkswagen and Huawei, but according to foreign media, the purchase of a subsidiary of the Chinese holding could cost "billions of dollars." Earlier it was reported that the developer TI is collaborating with "heavenly" automakers such as BAIC, GAC and Changan.
Pictured: VW CEO Herbert Diess
Recently, Herbert Diess also reminded that Volkswagen is still working on an entry-level electric car, which will cost about 20,000 euros (equivalent to about 1.75 million conventional units at the current exchange rate). Recall that the predecessor of this model is the ID.Life concept car, which debuted at the Munich Motor Show in September last year. A standard compact car will arrive in 2025.
In addition, the head of VW hinted at the possible appearance of a full-size electric pickup truck in the American lineup of the brand, which will compete with the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV. Both models are already presented, but not yet on sale. Details about a possible future green Volkswagen truck are not yet available. It is too early to talk about the likely timing of the appearance of new items.