China on the right road – Standard
Volkswagen announced last week that it would develop its first gasoline- electric hybrid vehicle – a minivan. More intriguing was the announcement that it is being developed in China for the Chinese market.
It is significant, surely, that VW would want to develop this new technology in and for China, that it believes it can develop the technology in China, and that, implicitly but perhaps most importantly, that China will undoubtedly serve as a worldwide launchpad.
This of course says something about the increasing sophistication of the Chinese market, and given that VW is cooperating with such Chinese institutions as Shanghai’s Tongji University in the development of fuel cells as well as electrical and mechanical systems for the new vehicle, this also indicates something about the state of engineering expertise in China.
But even more significant is that this underlines how the size of the Chinese market has begun to change the way the world prioritizes product development and business strategy.