Since Audi entered the Chinese market, they have been partnered with FAW, also known as First Automobile Works. The two brands have been together since the late '80s and tied the knot in 1991. After decades of being together, FAW and Audi announced that they will make a new brand together.
The two automakers recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that defines the framework for the joint production of electric vehicles based on the PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture. According to Audi, this bold step is a way for them to become one of the world's leading provider of sustainable premium mobility.
For now, the new brand doesn't have a name yet, but Audi mentioned that it will be for China. That country is one of Audi's vital markets, with over 680,000 units sold there in 2019 alone. Expanding the brand in China is a logical step for them, and it benefits their partner, FAW, as well. After all, it's FAW that builds Audi models in China.
“This is a further milestone in our electrification strategy for the Chinese market. We are also confirming our commitment both to our longstanding Chinese partner FAW and to our activities in China, which we are now taking to a new level,” said Werner Eichhorn, president of Audi China.
“This decision emphasizes the strategic importance of the Chinese market. We are thus actively pushing forward with innovations locally,” adds Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management, Audi.
With the MoU in place, Audi and FAW are pushing for more electric vehicle production and development. The two are taking baby steps towards that goal. Recently, Audi and FAW began production of the all-electric Q2L e-tron and the plug-in hybrid A6L TFSIe.
As China continues being an important market for German luxury brands, we might see more of them investing more over there. Mercedes-Benz and BAIC recently strengthened their partnership with the latter buying a bigger stake in the German automaker. At the same time, BMW and Brilliance doubled down on electric vehicle battery production. With the way things are going, China could soon become the biggest market for these luxury marques.