Audi in talks to acquire SAIC’s EV platform

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The decision highlights the intense competition in the world’s largest auto market as legacy and Western brands grapple with the rising demand for EVs. With Audi’s EV sales significantly lagging behind Tesla and domestic competitors like Nio (NYSE:NIO), the company’s move underscores the mounting pressure on these brands.

The unnamed sources indicated that Audi is currently in advanced talks to acquire the EV platform owned by SAIC’s EV unit, IM Motors. The potential takeover was reported Tuesday by Chinese media outlet Mingjing Pro.

Previously, Automobilwoche had mentioned Audi’s discussions with multiple manufacturers regarding the acquisition of an EV platform, without specifying the parties involved. This would mark Audi’s first instance of purchasing a platform from another manufacturer, as the company has predominantly utilized Volkswagen’s (ETR:VOWG_p) EV-dedicated MEB platform for its offerings in China. Additionally, Audi has been concurrently collaborating with Porsche (ETR:PSHG_p) to develop a new EV platform.

Audi offers two EV models – Q4 e-tron and Q5 e-tron – developed on Volkswagen’s MEB platform in China.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Audi sold just over 3,000 units of its EVs in the first quarter in China. In comparison, BMW sold 21,646 EVs, and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) outperformed both with sales of 137,429 cars. These figures highlight the significant gap between Audi’s EV sales and its competitors in the Chinese market.