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January 18, 2017

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Audi eyes increased Chinese e-car sales

AUDI will sell more electric car models in China and develop automated driving there, it said yesterday, deepening ties with local partner FAW Group to counter challengers Mercedes-Benz and BMW in its top market.

Volkswagen’s luxury division and other carmakers are under pressure to sell greener cars in China as the world’s biggest auto market tightens emissions rules and discourages the use of fossil-fueled cars in major cities to fight pollution.

Audi and FAW have agreed to produce five more electric car models in China over the next five years. Audi also plans to build the A6L e-tron plug-in hybrid in China this year and import the Q7 e-tron model to the country.

Future electric models will include purely battery-powered cars with a range of over 500 kilometers, Audi said. The brand now only imports the A3 e-tron to China, destination of almost a third of its record 1.87 million deliveries in 2016.

“We are starting the next phase of our joint growth path in China,” Audi sales chief Dietmar Voggenreiter said. “More than ever, our partnership is focusing on profitable, sustainable growth.”

An early entrant to China, Audi remains the best-selling premium car brand there, though it is losing ground to Mercedes-Benz.


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