Volkswagen is one of the first to enter automotive production in China, the world’s largest automotive market. In fact, it is second after American Motors which produced a Jeep product based on the Jeep Cherokee. VW’s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Motor dates back to 1984 and saw the production of VW and Skoda cars for the People’s Republic.
It should be noted that SAIC is one of the big four state-owned automakers in China, along with Changan Automobile, FAW Group and Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
After almost 40 years, it appears that the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture is planning an expansion by reorganizing its car factories to accommodate a new brand. And you guessed it: it will be Audi, the world luxury branch of the VW group.
It is according to a report by Reuters, who discovered a government document revealing the details. According to the report, the joint venture plans to invest 4.13 billion yuan ($ 590 million) in the redesign, effectively adding Audi to its portfolio.
The redesigned factory plans to produce 60,000 long-wheelbase versions of the Audi A7 Sportback each year, as well as 60,000 new VW SUVs. The first Audi car will leave the factory by 2022, according to Reuters.
It is not the first time that Audi has arrived in China. The German luxury brand has been collaborating with the FAW group since 1995. While the expansion of the SAIC-Volkswagen business seems to be on Audi-FAW’s toes, it is actually a common phenomenon in this country.
It should be noted that since the 1990s, Volkswagen cars in China have been built by both SAIC-Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen.