German luxury carmaker Audi said on Tuesday, October 13, that it would expand its electric vehicle presence in China, as it seeks to tap into a growing appetite for environmentally friendly cars in the world’s largest auto market.
Volkswagen-owned Audi and its Chinese joint-venture partner FAW signed a memorandum of understanding for the “establishment of a company for the production of all-electric Audi models” starting from 2024, it said.
“This decision emphasizes the strategic importance of the Chinese market. We are thus actively pushing forward with innovations locally,” Audi chief executive Markus Duesmann said in a statement.
China is already Audi’s largest market, having sold 512,081 cars from January to September this year – a record despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a whole, passenger car sales in China continued to tick higher, increasing 7.4% in September year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, making the Asian nation vital in plans for future growth.
Audi said it was gearing itself “towards the requirements and wishes of Chinese premium customers,” as e-vehicles jump in popularity on a pivot to a green agenda in the giant country.
Total sales of electric cars in China rocketed 99.6% in September compared with the same month a year before.
Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed last month that the country would go carbon neutral by 2060, pledging to reach peak emissions in 2030.
The Volkswagen group is pumping more than 40 billion euros into e-car investments globally, as part of a push to meet stricter pollution rules and leave behind the “dieselgate” emissions cheating saga. – Rappler.com
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