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VW debuts new Gol model
( 2003-08-11 09:08) (China Daily)

Shanghai VW, the joint venture between Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) and German Volkswagen Group, on Saturday launched the Gol four-door compact car as part of its latest efforts to boost sales.

The 1.6-litre four-door Gol will be priced between 92,300 yuan (US$11,150) and 103,800 yuan (US$12,540), according to the joint venture.

The four-door Gol came five months after Shanghai VW launched the two-door Gol in March.

The joint venture hopes to sell 10,000 four-door Gols this year, said Wu Shizhong, managing director of SAIC Volkswagen Sales Co Ltd, the venture's sales arm.

However, the joint venture has only sold 3,700 two-door Gols so far this year, much lower than expected.

The joint venture is the first carmaker in China to produce two-door passenger cars.

"We will continue to produce the two-door Gol and we are very confident of its market prospects,'' Wu said, denying recent reports that Shanghai VW will halt production of the two-door Gol following the launch of the four-door Gol because of its sluggish sales.

The joint venture aims to increase its total sales to 400,000 units this year, up from more than 300,000 units last year, according to the company.

The joint venture also produces the Santana, Santana 2000, Passat sedans, and hatchback and notchback Polo.

Shanghai VW on Friday opened a car testing ground in Shanghai.

The joint venture invested 1.2 billion yuan (US$145 million) in the construction of the car testing ground over the past five years.

"The ground is the largest of its kind in Asia. It will significantly speed up Shanghai VW's new product development,'' said Chen Zhixin, president of the joint venture.

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