Currently reading: Official: Audi and SAIC to collaborate on EV development
Two brands to share development of Chinese-market EVs, as Audi hunts alternative to delayed SSP platform

Audi and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) have agreed to co-operate on electric vehicle development in a move aimed at strengthening their respective positions in the Chinese car market, according to a statement made by the Chinese state-owned car maker on Thursday.

The announcement of the agreement comes after Audi entered into talks with SAIC – owner of MG Motor – on plans to source an electric vehicle platform from the Chinese group's IM Motors brand as an alternative to the delayed Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) architecture of its Volkswagen Group parent. 

“All stakeholders agree that the Chinese auto market is in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history. Therefore we will jointly work on a strategic approach that guarantees our future success,” SAIC is quoted by Bloomberg.

Audi’s plans to base future electric vehicles on the SSP architecture have been thrown into disarray by continued delays in software development, including a new operating system, which goes under the internal working title of E3 2.0.

The E3 2.0 software is considered a key component of the SSP architecture, which is planned to offer level three autonomous driving technology.

As an alternative for models to be sold in China, Audi is considering using the electric vehicle platform developed by SAIC for the IM L7 saloon and IM LS7 SUV. It supports an 800V electric architecture and was conceived for models with wheelbases ranging from 2800mm to 3200mm in length.

Audi, under pressure to improve sales in China, announced Gernot Doellner would replace Markus Duesmann as CEO last month as part of moves aimed at restructuring the German car maker.


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Clive Goldthorp 13 July 2023

Incidentally, and by way of correction, the Reuters article published on the 4th July 2023 and referred to above, in fact, stated that SAIC Motor "plans to launch more than 10 new models under the MG brand in the next 18 months globally."


Clive Goldthorp 11 July 2023

Here's another potential EV platform for Audi to evaluate: SAIC Motor's Xingyun or Nebula platform which is being referred to outside China as the Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) and which currently underpins the MG4, but which is set to be used for a total of sixteen new models to be launched across SAIC Motor's four major brands of IM, MG, Rising Auto and Roewe before the end of 2024 - ten of which will, according to a recent Reuters report, be marketed globally under the MG marque.

My understanding from just-auto is that the MSP "can accommodate wheelbases ranging between 2,690mm and 3,100mm for the production of a wide range of vehicle types" and "battery packs of up to 2,023mm in length."

I surmise that the MSP would probably be flexible and future-proofed enough for Audi's purposes while, given the longstanding SAIC Motor and VW Group JV, for Audi to use the MSP under licence would seem to be be a commercially logical option.





Clive Goldthorp 13 July 2023

Just for the record and by way of clarification, my previous comment above was in response to the original version of Greg Kable's article which was published on the 11th July 2023 - having read my comment, he has clearly researched the proposition about Audi using a SAIC Motor's platform put forward in my original comment and re-written his article.