Audi is deepening its partnership with FAW and laying the foundation for continued success in China. The Board of Management of Audi, Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group and Board of Management of the FAW Group confirmed that Changchun in the northeast of China will be the headquarters of the newly founded Audi-FAW company.
This was announced today at the ceremonial signing in Changchun and Beijing. AUDI AG and Volkswagen Group China will receive a 60-percent share, making this company – founded for the local production of fully electric Audi models on the “Premium Platform Electric” (PPE) codeveloped with Porsche – the first cooperation company with a majority interest held by Audi in China.
“With the new Audi-FAW company in Changchun, we are further expanding our presence on the Chinese market and strengthening our position as a manufacturer of fully electric premium vehicles through local production,” says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG and the person responsible for business in China. “In doing so, we are continuing the Audi success story in China and actively helping to shape the transformation of the Chinese automotive industry as it moves toward sustainable mobility.”
Local manufacture of the first PPE model produced jointly with FAW is scheduled to start by 2024. Changchun is also the headquarters of the joint venture FAW‑Volkswagen, which Audi has been involved in for more than 30 years and, in addition to other locations in China, already produces models with the Four Rings locally.
The founding of the new PPE company is officially scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, just as soon as the consent of all stakeholders and the Chinese regulatory authorities has been obtained.
“This deepened partnership between Audi and FAW heralds a new era of electrification as the next ‘golden decade’ for Audi on the highly important Chinese market,” says Werner Eichhorn, President of Audi China. FAW Audi Sales Co., Ltd. will assume responsibility for selling the Audi models produced locally by FAW-Volkswagen as well as Audi import vehicles and future cars produced at the joint PPE plant.
The “Premium Platform Electric” (PPE) architecture
PPE has been designed and developed in cooperation with Porsche from the start with the project team sharing space in Ingolstadt. PPE is characterized by a high-tech and highly scalable architecture that allows for both low- and high-floor, from the medium-size class and up—SUVs, Sportbacks, Avants and crossovers. The portfolio and flexibility will allow Audi to develop and sell one of the best combinations of electric, plug-in and internal combustion vehicles in the global markets.
The technology offered in PPE is similar to that of MEB and with a number of powertrain and battery options that will be available. Standard packaging will allow for one electric motor in the rear; the higher-range models will be equipped with a second electric motor at the front axle (PSM or ASM) that can activate quattro all-wheel drive automatically when needed.
Like in the Audi e-tron GT, the electrical architecture is 800 volts; in combination with high-efficiency thermal management, it enables an ultra-high-speed charging capacity of 350 kW. The dimensions and overhangs of the low-floor Audi models on the PPE platform will be slightly shorter than those of the current combustion engine models on the MLB platform but will offer greater interior dimensions. Torque vectoring, air suspension and all-wheel steering will all be available.
Introduction of SAIC as second partner to further boost business on the Chinese market
Through these strategic decisions, Audi is further strengthening its presence on its biggest foreign market. This partnership with FAW will allow Audi to increase the number of locally produced models to 12 by the end of 2021. The models produced by its second partner, SAIC Volkswagen, are set to be introduced in 2022. Audi has so far delivered almost 7 million vehicles on the Chinese market. In 2020 alone, Audi sold 727,358 vehicles in China, the brand’s best ever result in over 30 years of business on the Chinese market.