The Lavida, Volkswagen's first vehicle designed and developed by and specifically for the Chinese market, will soon be going electric. Comrades, behold the E-Lavida.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, details about the actual vehicle are pretty thin at the moment. The car will be developed semi-independent of German overseer's, but the Lavida will fit into VW's overall EV strategy, dubbed "e-Mobility." According to Winfried Vahland, CEO of Volkswagen Group China:
The e-mobility strategy for China is perfectly tailored to local needs. Volkswagen will provide its entire BlueMotion technology to the two Chinese joint ventures for local production. The Volkswagen Group China has 100 percent committed to the aim of providing Chinese consumers with innovative, energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies available to achieve sustainable development.
Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG, echoed Vahland's statement:
Our goal is market leadership in e-Mobility by 2018. China is the world's most important market for the Volkswagen Group, and the success of e-mobility in China is crucial to the global implementation of the e-Mobility strategy.
Wait, did he say China is the world's most important market for Volkswagen? Yep. Volkswagen is already the biggest overseas maker of passenger cars in China and it was the first to enter the market three decades ago. Last year, VW delivered 1.4 million vehicles to Chinese customers, and you'd be hard-pressed to find an analyst who thinks the Chinese consumer market will shrink anytime soon. The e-Lavida will be tested in China as preparation for a broader market launch. The E-Up! city car is also due to go on sale in China in 2013.