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Audi reaffirms China's importance as it goes electric

By Li Fusheng | | Updated: 2021-08-26 16:22
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An Audi A6 e-tron concept electric vehicle (EV) is seen displayed during the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, on April 20, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

China will continue playing its important role in Audi's development as it accelerates efforts to go electric, said the German carmaker on Wednesday.

The premium arm of Volkswagen Group made the remark when it unveiled its new strategy Vorsprung 2030.

"The corporate strategy Vorsprung 2030 will ensure that Audi remains viable long into the future. The pace of change in our society is rapidly increasing. That's why we're accelerating our own transformation," said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann.

As part of the strategy, the Ingolstadt-headquartered carmaker said its new models from 2026 will be pure electric, and production of combustion engine models will end in 2033.

Audi said China, its largest market, will continue to play an important role in the company's new strategic alignment.

It estimates that the premium vehicle market in China will grow to 4.5 million sales annually by 2030 from 3.1 million in 2020, and electric vehicles' share could increase from 10 percent today to as much as 40 percent by the end of the decade.

"As such, it is only logical for Audi to continue expanding its business in China. This includes increasing the supply of electric cars produced locally," said Audi in a statement.

Audi is producing electric vehicles, including the e-tron SUV, in China. A joint venture dedicated to electric cars based on the PPE platform Audi developed with Porsche has been established in the country as well, with the first model scheduled to hit the market in 2024.

The joint venture is located in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, where Audi has been producing gasoline vehicles with FAW for three decades.

Audi said the number of China-made Audi models, both gasoline and electric, will grow to 12 by the end of this year. The German carmaker is also manufacturing Audi vehicles with another Chinese carmaker SAIC, with the first model to be launched in 2022.

"Our approach here is based on the idea of 'In China for China', and as such, Audi is focusing on the specific needs of customers in the world's largest automotive market and actively driving innovation," said Werner Eichhorn, president of Audi China.

Audi has sold a total of more than 7 million vehicles in the Chinese market. Last year, it delivered 727,358 vehicles in the country. The figure hit 418, 749 in the first half of 2021, up 38.6 percent year-on-year.

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