Program branch of volkswagenCarad, will invest more than 2 billion dollars in Horizon Robotics, a Chinese company specializing in driving freely. The goal of the German manufacturer: to improve its technology and conquer the coveted market of the Middle Kingdom.
A joint venture dedicated to the Chinese market
The Carad division was created in 2019 by Volkswagen. However, it has been plagued by problems since the beginning of the year, causing mainly model and performance delays. Partly for this reason, the company has appointed a new chief executive, Oliver Blume, replacing Herbert Diess. Now it wants to revive and accelerate its development in the field of autonomous driving, driving assistance systems, and electric vehicles.
As reported Reuters, the automaker will therefore invest $1 billion in Horizon Robotics, and an additional $1.26 billion to create a Chinese joint venture in which Volkswagen will hold a 60% stake. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.
” Partnering with Horizon Robotics will enable Volkswagen to accelerate the development of autonomous driving solutions as part of our New Auto strategy and help reposition our business in China. says Ralf Brandstätter, Member of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen in China.
Volkswagen wants to strengthen its software offering
Horizon Robotics is committed to developing chips that can be installed in many devices, from cars to smart speakers. Its technology is already a partner of Volkswagen’s Audi cars, and is financially supported by Intel as well as the Chinese giant BYD. Together, the two companies want to develop technology that can integrate multiple functions of autonomous driving on a single chip that will be available only in China.
” As one of the leading companies to commercialize and mass produce autonomous IT solutions in China, we will bring our expertise to partner with Carad to develop next-generation technology for smart car users. We believe our integrated software and hardware solutions will continue to position Horizon Robotics as the partner of choice for global automakers in China. says Kai Yu, founder and CEO of Horizon Robotics.
The knowledge resulting from the research conducted jointly by the two companies will be shared by the entire Volkswagen group.
The appeal of the Chinese market
In addition to helping a German manufacturer set up in China, ” its largest international market This partnership also allows it to have a dealer in every major region, North America, Europe and China. It is actually produced by the American chip manufacturer Qualcomm and the Franco-Italian company STMicroelectronics.
Volkswagen’s move shows the attractiveness of the Chinese market for manufacturers, and the German group is interested in strengthening its software offering and establishing itself in the electric vehicle sector in the Asian country, where it is behind Tesla or BYD. In addition, the company assured in May that he wanted to overtake Elon Musk’s company by 2025. Although his investment is a step forward, he still has a long way to go.