FEATURE: Volkswagen’s CFO reveals the OEM’s plans to claim a larger share of the Chinese EV market

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At the Reuters Automotive Europe conference in Munich, Germany, this week, Volkswagen’s chief financial officer, Arno Arlitz, outlined the company’s plans for its CARIAD automotive software platform.

“We want to keep our own software as having our own software stack is a competitive advantage going forward. This is why we invested heavily in CARIAD,” he explained.

Having recently spent time in Shanghai, China, looking at competitors’ cars, Arlitz said that Volkswagen has realized that it needs to offer driving assistance functions and infotainment systems that cater directly to the Chinese market. He also emphasized that the German manufacturer is relying on company competencies within China to help it deliver tailored interior solutions to Chinese customers.

Volkswagen CARIAD is working with Huawei to integrate the latter’s software within its cars and also with Horizon Robotics through a joint venture to deliver autonomous driving functions on a single chip.

Arlitz explained that in addition to working with China-based businesses to accelerate the adoption of smart and electrified VW Group vehicles within the country, the company is looking to forge partnerships in other software sectors.

“The major areas are driving assistance functions, Level 2, Level 2+ and Level 2++ and in-car infotainment such as interior features, avatars and integrating these into the Chinese systems and apps; these are the two major fields,” he said.

Volkswagen’s CFO went on to explain that the OEM plans to establish a China-specific arm through which more development will be carried out in China, for China. New ways of working will also be introduced, resulting in skills being shared between the various CARIAD arms to improve research and development.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen CARIAD China presented its next-generation digital cockpit innovations at Auto Shanghai: CARIAD China showcases next-generation digital cockpit innovations at Auto Shanghai | Automotive Interiors World

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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