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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Audi aims to double car output in China in five years

Chief says the firm would look to offer 10 new 4x4s in China by 2022, and that by 2025 it expected 30 per cent of its sales in the market to be electric vehicles

<p>An Audi Q5 2.0 production line. The car maker is aiming to take expand in Chna. Henry Romero/Reuters</p>
An Audi Q5 2.0 production line. The car maker is aiming to take expand in Chna. Henry Romero/Reuters

German luxury car maker Audi aims to double China production with local partner China FAW Group within five years, its chief executive said on Wednesday, as global car makers look to localise in the world's largest vehicle market.

Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Audi head Rupert Stadler said the firm would look to offer 10 new 4x4s in China by 2022, and that by 2025 it expected 30 per cent of its sales in the market to be electric vehicles.

He also said Audi would expand the range of vehicles it builds with SAIC Motor and to double its engineering staff in China to 750 to 800, without giving a time frame.

The comments reflect how foreign car makers have been going out of their way to show their commitment the Chinese market amid simmering trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

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China is considering adding duties to US car imports in retaliation to the United States' proposed tariffs on Chinese goods, although Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month pledged to lower import tariffs on products such as cars.

The country also plans to scrap limits on foreign ownership of automotive ventures by 2022 in a major policy shift.

Audi sales chief Marco Schubert said manufacturers will likely ship in more cars if China reduces import duties on vehicles. About 10 per cent of Audi vehicles sold in China are imported, and that share would likely rise for Audi and its rivals, he said.