SEAT is heading to China. Volkswagen Group China and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd (JAC), the partners in the JAC Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. joint venture, and SEAT have signed a Memorandum of Understanding by way of which the Spanish company teams up with the joint venture and will be the Volkswagen Group’s lead brand in this project. The agreement was signed today by SEAT President Luca de Meo; Volkswagen Group China President Dr. Jochem Heizmann; and JAC President An Jin, in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, at a ceremony held in Berlin, Germany.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding signals a turning point for SEAT. Since the creation of the joint venture in 2017, SEAT has contributed in the areas of design and R&D. Under the agreement, SEAT will become a shareholder of JAC Volkswagen, which will result in the introduction of the SEAT brand in the Chinese market targeting 2020-2021.
The Spanish carmaker will actively participate in the creation of an R&D centre in China focus on electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving.
After signing the agreement, SEAT President Luca de Meo declared: “Our participation in this new phase of the joint venture is a milestone for SEAT. Today will be remembered in the history of the company, as we are entering a new era that will enable us to globalise the brand and boost the development of the electric vehicle. China offers many opportunities for SEAT and we are going to contribute mobility solutions to suit the needs of customers. This is also a chance for us to learn from the future trends that are developing in China.”
The memorandum of understanding also includes that SEAT, together with Volkswagen Group China and JAC, will establish an R&D centre in China to develop electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies, including relevant parts and components and core technologies, with operational use planned for 2021. In addition, the joint venture will launch a competitive BEV platform based.