Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said the company is planning “big moves” in China.
The world’s second-largest automaker is ramping up operations in its biggest market to keep pace with fast-growing Chinese automakers and rapidly changing customer preferences.
“We’re going to make some major investments in China,” Diess said in an interview posted Tuesday on LinkedIn. “Within a few years, we’ll have thousands of people working on software in China.”
During an interview with Chang Qing, CEO of CARIAD China, Volkswagen’s own automotive software arm, Diess emphasized Volkswagen’s need to pursue the Chinese market and invest in its local operations.
Increasing its presence in China will help Volkswagen respond quickly to changes in the local market, particularly in two key areas: autonomous driving technology and the in-car user experience, “which is really different and sophisticated in China,” Diess said.
He cited consumer demand for audio systems designed for karaoke, an “internal photography camera” and streaming capabilities.
“We already came to the conclusion a few years ago that developing this in Europe would not work for China,” said Diess. “We have to do it there.”