Volkswagen reveals ID.Next electric sedan in a bid to win back market share in China

Volkswagen stunned the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show by unveiling its new ID.Next electric sedan concept. The ID.Next was showcased next to the VW ID.7 Vizzion, the Chinese model of its new electric sedan produced by FAW Volkswagen.

Volkswagen held an “ID Night” featuring all vehicles in the brand’s (SAIC-Volkswagen) lineup for China, including the ID.3, ID.4 X, and ID.6 X.

The ID.Next was revealed wearing a special camouflage jacket. According to the automaker, the electric sedan will feature a living cockpit space designed to represent its commitment to protecting the environment and sustainability.

Although few details of the EV were shared, the ID.Next will be made by SAIC-Volkswagen, a joint venture between Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC Motor and the Volkswagen Group.

On the outside, the vehicle clearly resembles Volkswagen’s newly released ID.7 electric sedan for global markets. Yet the model includes a full-length light bar, distinct, sharp lines on the body, and a slightly smaller appearance.

Interestingly, Volkswagen’s other joint venture in China, FAW-Volkswagen, has also released its version of the ID.7 called the ID.7 Vizzion.

How the ID.Next fits in VW’s electric vehicle strategy

Foreign automakers, such as Volkswagen, are required to form partnerships (or joint ventures) in China to produce and sell vehicles locally.

Volkswagen has two joint ventures in China, one with SAIC and the other with FAW. When Volkswagen launches a new model, it’s typical for both JVs to produce it. While SAIC makes the ID.4 X and ID.6 X (versions of the VW ID.4 and ID.6 in China), FAW produces the ID.4 Crozz and ID.6 Crozz.

With this in mind, the ID.Next will be SAIC-Volkswagen’s version of the ID.7, while FAW will sell the ID.7 Vizzion.

The ID.Next is set to compete in a rapidly expanding Chinese EV market against BYD, Tesla, Geely, NIO, XPeng, and a never-ending list of upcoming electric sedans in China.

Electrek’s Take

The unveiling arrives simultaneously with an announcement that Volkswagen Group would bring new models to market quicker in China, investing €1 billion (roughly $1.1 billion) to establish an innovation and development center for electric vehicles in the region.

Volkswagen has dominated the auto market in China since around the 1990s. However, Volkswagen has watched its market share dwindle as new domestic EV makers take center stage, with overall sales falling 3.6% in 2022.

For example, BYD surpassed Volkswagen in passenger car sales in the first three months of 2023 due to soaring demand for battery electric vehicles.

Volkswagen will need to act urgently after unveiling plans to introduce ten new EV models by 2026.

What do you guys think? Does Volkswagen have a chance of reclaiming its share? We’ll keep you updated on the situation as we hear more.