Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co. has revealed plans to manufacture a compact premium sedan for the automotive market in China. SAIC Motor Co. disclosed in a statement that the plan was approved by both Volkswagen AG and SAIC during the visit of SAIC Chairman Hu Maoyuan to Wolfsburg, which is the headquarters of VW in Germany, last April.
Shanghai Volkswagen is a joint venture between SAIC and VW. According to SAIC, the luxury sedan will be developed on the “most advanced platform and engine technology” of VW.
Further information about the vehicle has yet to be disclosed. Shanghai Volkswagen currently produces the Tiguan, Passant, Lavida, Touran and VW Polo. During the first quarter of 2011, the joint venture sold 227,835 units.
Volkswagen also has a joint venture with China FAW Group Corp. known as FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co., which builds the Magotan, Sagitar, Jetta, New Bora, Golf and CC models. This joint venture also manufactures the Audi luxury sedans of Volkswagen.
SAIC has long wanted to have Shanghai Volkswagen build a premium vehicle model like that of the Audi model lineup. During the first three months of 2011, FAW Volkswagen has sold 225,256 vehicles including 42,667 Audi units.
Although it sells around the same number of cars as FAW Volkswagen, Shanghai Volkswagen is less profitable between the two since it doesn’t have a luxury brand.