Volkswagen used to be really popular in China, but now it’s facing tough competition. Companies like Tesla and Xpeng are doing better in the electric car market, and Chinese carmakers are getting stronger at home.
The CEO of Volkswagen Group, Oliver Blume, said that making cars look good is a big focus now. Good looks and other things will help Volkswagen’s brands in China and attract more electric car buyers. This is good news for German designers because it gives them more freedom to be creative.
New companies, especially those without a long history, can be very creative. Michael Mauer, who is in charge of design at Volkswagen Group and Porsche, thinks this is a good thing. He believes it makes the people who make decisions more open to new ideas.
Blume’s plan is making Volkswagen’s brands like Skoda, Cupra, Audi, and VW come up with unique designs. The hope is that this will help popular models like the Golf become trendy again and sell more electric cars.
But making a car look modern and cool is not easy. It needs a lot of thought from the people in charge. Mauer said it’s like throwing a stone into the future – you need to throw it just the right distance. Finding that sweet spot is a real challenge.
German carmakers have room to improve, especially in connecting with Chinese buyers. The way cars look and the features inside them need to match what Chinese customers want. These two things are connected. Mauer doesn’t think the design at Volkswagen is bad, but he says it’s super important to get it just right.
He said, “Design is certainly not the biggest issue in the company, but it’s an area where I can still achieve a lot with relatively modest resources.” So, making cars look great is a big deal for Volkswagen in China.