This week’s automotive headlines – 28 May 2022

28 May 2022


Autovista24 looks at automotive headlines from the past seven days. This week, Volkswagen launches a second German EV production site, XPeng announces its first quarter financial results, Vietnamese EV manufacturer Vinfast moves its legal HQ, and forms a financial-services union with FCA Bank, and a new Modular Electric Platform (MEB) partnership agreement is formed.

Volkswagen launches second German EV production site

Source: VW

Volkswagen (VW) Group has added to its electric-vehicle (EV) manufacturing capacity by starting production of the all-electric ID.4 at its Emden plant. The facility is now the second site for EVs in Germany, along with Zwickau, and also joins the group’s Chinese plants in Anting and Foshan. The facility houses around 8,000 employees and is part of a planned investment of €21 billion in Lower Saxony up to 2026. ‘The consistent expansion of the production network is key for the success of our global electric offensive,’ commented Christian Vollmer, member of the Volkswagen brand board of management responsible for production and logistics. ‘With the knowledge and experience gained in Emden, we will be able to drive the transformation of other plants quickly and efficiently. Innovative production concepts and highly qualified teams form the basis for this approach.’

XPeng announces first quarter financial results

Chinese EV maker XPeng has announced its unaudited financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2022. Notable takeaways include the total delivery of 34,561 vehicles in the first quarter, representing an increase of 159% from 13,340 in the corresponding period of 2021. Total revenues were almost $1.2 million (€1.1 million) for the first quarter of 2022, representing a year-on-year growth of 152.6%, and a decrease of 12.9% from the fourth quarter of 2021. ‘We are pleased to begin the year with a strong quarter. Our total revenues grew rapidly and our gross margin held up well,’ said Dr Hongdi Brian Gu, honorary vice chairman and president of XPeng. ‘We will continue to manage supply chain uncertainties and we remain confident in our exciting product pipeline planned for 2022 and beyond. In addition, we expect to further leverage our economies of scale and continue to improve our operating efficiency.’

FCA Bank forms financial services union with VinFast

FCA Bank, a financial organisation with a focus on the automotive sector, has signed a pan-European cooperation agreement with VinFast, the Vietnamese manufacturer of EVs, for the provision of financial services. Initially active in France, Germany and the Netherlands, the partnership will enable FCA Bank to provide a wide range of solutions designed to make VinFast’s zero-emission models more accessible in Europe. ‘We are proud to work side by side with VinFast. This new strategic partnership broadens our expertise, as we work with one of the most innovative and fast-growing international automotive brands,’ said Giacomo Carelli, CEO and general manager of FCA Bank. ‘FCA Bank thus expands its already large number of brand partners to include a company like VinFast, with which we share an approach based on innovation and sustainability. For us, this is a significant step forward in our journey to become the bank of reference for mobility in Europe.’

Vietnamese EV manufacturer moves legal HQ

VinFast is moving its legal and financial headquarters to Singapore ahead of a mooted public listing and inaugural production run for the US and European markets, while the company’s operational headquarters will remain based in Vietnam. According to Reuters, VinFast has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US through a Singapore-based holding company. It hopes to eventually build a manufacturing plant in North Carolina, and more generally, sell its VF8 and VF9 SUVs. ‘We feel that Singapore is a jurisdiction that will give investors more confidence,’ said Vinfast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy, according to Reuters. ‘We put ourselves in the shoes of the investors.’

VW and Mahindra’s MEB partnership agreement

Source: VW

VW and Indian multinational automotive corporation Mahindra have signed a partnering agreement, exploring the use of MEB electric components. This could include, electric motors, battery system components, and battery cells, for use in Mahindra’s new Born Electric platform. The MEB, together with its components, allows car manufacturers to build their portfolio of electrified vehicles, quickly and cost-effectively. The shared objective of the two companies is aimed at aiding the electrification of the Indian automotive market, which is dominated by diesel and petrol engines. ‘We are very pleased to have VW, a significant global investor in the electric mobility space, as a strategic partner in achieving our ambitious Born Electric vison,’ said Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director, auto and farm sectors at Mahindra. ‘The complementarity of their extensive technology, innovation, and vertical integration in supply chains, will provide a framework to develop our next-gen Born Electric platform, to be revealed soon.’