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Audi confident in China's premium vehicle market | Updated: 2021-02-10 13:49
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An Audi R8 attracts attention at the Shanghai auto show in 2019. [Photo by Li Fusheng/China Daily]

German premium carmaker Audi AG expects to grow its annual sales in China to 1 million units in two years, saying it is confident in the country's prospects as the world's largest vehicle market.

In an online event on Wednesday, Audi China President Werner Eichhorn said the carmaker, with its local partners FAW and SAIC Motor, will scale up its sales to 1 million units in the country in 2023, up from around 720,000 units last year.

Eichhorn said China's premium vehicle market will grow from around 3 million in 2020 to around 4 million in 2030, and 40 percent of them will become new energy vehicles.

He said Audi will seize the opportunity to create a new 'golden decade' and return to the No 1 position in China's premium vehicle market.

Audi came to China in 1988, and was the country's best-selling premium vehicle company for around three decades. But it was recently overtaken by German rivals Mercedes and BMW.

The carmaker has stepped up efforts to catch up. In June 2020, Audi Chairman Marcus Duesmann announced that he would assume direct responsibility for its business in China.

"The mobility of the future is developing rapidly in China," he said in a statement.

Audi is also speeding up to introduce new models into the country. Eichhorn said Audi will launch six electrified models in China this year, including the locally-produced electric e-tron SUV.

He said the number of Audi models made with FAW will reach 12 by the end of 2021. Products from its second partner, SAIC Motor, are set to be introduced in 2022.

Audi has also inked a deal with FAW to build electric vehicles based on a platform co-developed by Audi and Porsche.

The joint venture, which is located in Changchun, Jilin province, will see the first model to roll off the assembly line in 2024.

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