Audi aims to double auto output in China in five years

2018 VW Lavida Debuts In Beijing With Oh So Familiar Design

Audi aims to double auto output in China in five years

In addition, dozens of concept cars are also present at the Beijing Auto Show.

To capitalize on the world's biggest automobile market and a population of over 1.3 billion people, many carmakers, including those from Japan and Europe, are eager to boost sales of EVs in China.

But last week Beijing announced it will liberalise foreign ownership limits in the sector, a move seen as a possible olive branch to US President Donald Trump, who has railed against China's policies in the sector.

China's government signaled last week that it will eventually allow foreign auto makers to take full ownership of their local ventures, marking the end of a decades-long set-up.

GM, Ford, Daimler AG's Mercedes unit and other vehicle makers also have announced ventures with local partners to develop models for China that deliver more range at lower prices.

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Foreign automakers have cautiously welcomed the changes, with VW saying it has "strong" Chinese partners in their joint ventures. But the overreaching principle is important. CEO of Volkswagen Group China, Jochem Heizmann, elaborated that he believes in a fair competition.

Audi sales chief Marco Schubert said manufacturers will likely ship in more cars if China reduces import duties on vehicles. On Tuesday Didi - China's answer to Uber - announced it had joined forces with some thirty partners, including Renault and Volkwagen, to develop vehicles and products specifically tailored for ride-sharing.

China accounted for half of last year's global electric vehicle sales, boosted by subsidies and other prodding from communist leaders who want to make their country a centre for the emerging technology. Volkswagen sold more than three million, roughly six times its home market. The country is producing and exporting affordable vehicles to different countries.

Volkswagen's (VW) world-leading development budget is shifting into overdrive, bolstered by spending at its Chinese joint ventures as the German auto maker seeks an edge in producing electric, self-driving cars.

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