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Volkswagen, China joint-venture partners to invest $17 billion in electrified vehicles

BEIJING — Volkswagen Group said Monday it plans to invest about 15 billion euros ($17.44 billion) in electric mobility with three local joint ventures in China.

The investment will allow VW and FAW Group, SAIC Motor and JAC to build 15 different full-electric or plug-in hybrid models in China by 2025.

VW will start making EVs based on its MEB architecture at two Chinese factories starting in October. It will source batteries from CATL, Guoxuan and A123.

VW did not give further details.

VW Group’s Audi brand is in talks with FAW, its long-term partner in China, about creating a new joint venture to build electric cars, Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe, reported.

Audi and FAW build combustion-engine cars in the northeastern city of Changchun and the southern city of Foshan.

The location of a production site for the new vehicles is still part of the negotiations, Automobilwoche reported. The negotiations are well advanced and should be concluded by the end of the year, with Audi intending to hold 75 percent of the shares in the joint venture.

An Audi spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

The first EVs to be built by the new site could be the E6 and EQ5 models that may be electric versions of Audi’s A6 sedan and Q5 crossover.

Markus Duesmann, who became Audi CEO in April, has been asked by VW Group CEO Herbert Diess to expand Audi’s China business and launch several rivals to challenge Tesla in premium EV sales.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report.

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