Volkswagen's Joint Venture for Chinese Mass Production of Electric Vehicles Given Green Light

VW is approved to partner with a Chinese auto manufacturer for a large stake in electric vehicle manufacturing.

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The Volkswagen Group is investing quite a lot of its diverse resources in the development and production of electric cars, in order to future-proof its various brands. In order to overthrow the reigning kings of electric vehicles, VW must establish a firm footing in the market before it's too late. With its new plans to open a join venture in China apparently green-lit, however, Volkswagen will be setting itself up in a strictly regulated nation that will force the electric vehicle market to grow.

Reuters reports the joint venture between Volkswagen and JAC Motor (Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group) had been approved by Chinese regulatory commissions; however, the deal has not yet been finalized internally.  The agreement between the two manufacturers will reportedly produce 100,000 pure electric vehicles annually, enough to be valued at $740 million. Earlier this year Volkswagen revealed that it planned to release eight new electric vehicles in China by 2020.

This step towards electrification is absolutely necessary for VW to continue selling its vehicles in the Chinese market, as strict regulations rivaling those set forth by California are making its way to the market there. The rules for manufacturers would require 8 percent of all new production cars to be electrified in 2018, increasing to 12 percent in 2020.

Volkswagen Group has said that it wants to "leapfrog" Tesla to become the biggest name in electric, and it's certainly investing in the right resources to become a key competitor in the business. The automotive giant flexed its electric muscles this year at several auto shows with concepts such as the Audi e-tron Sportback, shown below. Several new electric models have been announced over the past few months, which clearly put Volkswagen on a path towards an electrified future.

As the automotive industry begins to shift towards electric, stricter environmental regulations are all but sure to push the movement forward. Volkswagen is looking towards this joint venture to become market leaders for China, and could potentially use its market share there to influence in other areas of the world.