Today, Audi announced a new a deal with FAW, its Chinese manufacturing partner, to expand its activities in China and introduce a series of luxury all-electric vehicles as well as a broader electrification of their lineup.
The German automaker took notice that China became the world’s biggest electric vehicle market last year and considering the Volkswagen group, Audi’s parent company, is among the few automakers committing to volume production of EVs, they will need market shares in China to sell those vehicles.
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Details about the deal are scarce, but they extended their partnership to a new 10-year plan following already 3 decades of collaboration in China.
Rupert Stadler, CEO of AUDI AG, commented on the announcement:
“In the past 29 years, Audi and the FAW Group have written Chinese automotive history. Together we have established the premium market in China and have continuously advanced its development. Now we are once again setting a historic milestone by enhancing our successful partnership with a strong roadmap for the coming decade.”
The bulk of the plan will be the introduction of 5 new electric vehicles in the next 5 years – both for production and sales in China. Audi added that those 5 models will “include purely battery-powered cars with ranges of more than 500 kilometers (310.7 mi).”
It wouldn’t be surprising to see a version of the quattro e-tron making it to China. The vehicle is the only long-range all-electric vehicle officially announced by the German automaker and it is expected to hit the market next year.
Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG, said when signing the agreement in Changchun:
“We are starting the next phase of our joint growth path in China. More than ever, our partnership is focusing on profitable, sustainable growth. China is the leading market worldwide for electric mobility. With our e-tron initiative, we want to create a compelling premium offer of products and services here.”
The first step of this electrification of their Chinese car lineup will not be an all-electric vehicle. The company confirmed that they will locally produce the Audi A6 L e-tron plug-in hybrid in the country this year and they will also import the Q7 e-tron.
Featured image: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development, beside the concept car Audi e-tron quattro at the International Auto Show 2015 in Frankfurt/Main.