A few days ago an intriguing report came out, claiming that Audi was looking to buy an existing Chinese EV platform in order to dramatically speed up the development of new models. It wasn't clear at the time what platform the German company had in mind, but today a new report thankfully sheds some more light on this topic.
According to "people familiar with the matter", it's a platform owned by SAIC's EV unit, IM Motors. IM Motors started deliveries of its first model, the L7 sedan, in June 2022, and it's a premium EV brand controlled by SAIC. Talks are reportedly at an advanced stage already.Audi Q5 e-tron in China
Right now it's unclear how much Audi is willing to pay, and whether SAIC and IM Motors would still be involved in making the L7 sedan after the deal, if it goes through.
So far, Audi has used Volkswagen's MEB platform for EVs on offer in China, while at the same time developing a new platform with Porsche. That one is apparently taking its sweet time to arrive on the market, hence the perceived need for a move like this - one that would be unprecedented in Audi's short history as an EV maker.Audi Q4 e-tron in China
Outgoing Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has before stated that the brand has to speed up development of new models to meet a surge in demand in China. According to him, Audi's lackluster sales in China so far (3,000 units in the first quarter compared to BMW's 21,000 and Tesla's 137,000) have to do with its offerings not being optimal for the market needs. Currently only the Q4 e-tron and Q5 e-tron are on sale in China.