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November 15, 2016

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Home » Business » Auto

SAIC-VW to make Audi models

CHINA’S SAIC Motor Corp and Volkswagen have signed an agreement that could pave the way for SAIC-Volkswagen, the German automaker’s joint venture with Shanghai-based SAIC, to make Audi-brand cars.

SAIC signed a memorandum of understanding with VW in Germany on Friday for a long-term collaboration, including allowing SAIC-VW to make Audi cars and providing the Chinese market with new-energy cars, SAIC said in a statement yesterday.

However, the statement said the MOU is subject to uncertainties and didn’t mention any new joint venture to be set up between SAIC and Audi, a market rumor which had been going viral over the weekend.

“A joint venture between SAIC and Audi could contribute at least 200,000 units to Audi’s annual sales, making it possible to catch up with BMW and Mercedes-Benz,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association.

Audi sales have moderated in recent years, especially after the VW emission scandal. In the first three quarters of this year, Audi delivered 440,200 units, a rise of 6.5 percent year on year in the Chinese market. Its luxury rival BMW delivered 356,000 units, up 11.1 percent, and Mercedes-Benz sold 344,800 units, a jump of 29.5 percent.

This tie-up is also expected to benefit SAIC as it will be significant for China’s largest automaker to cooperate with a luxury brand like Audi, market watchers said.

In July, Audi unveiled plans to launch at least three pure electric vehicles in China before 2020. At the upcoming 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show, the first plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 e-tron sport-utility vehicle and the first plug-in hybrid A6L e-tron sedan will be unveiled.


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