Audi ‘deepens’ joint venture with Chinese FAW for EV production
Audi announced it is ‘deepening its partnership’ with FAW (First Automobile Works), one of the big four Chinese carmakers, in a joint venture. The Germans will hold 60% of shares, provided approval of the Chinese authorities. The goal is to build in the next few years all-electric cars on the PPE platform (Premium Platform Electric) that Audi developed with Porsche.
This joint venture was announced in October 2020 at first, but Audi and FAW are working together already to sell Chinese versions of the e-tron BEV and a plug-in version of the A6L produced by the FAW-Volkswagen branch. In October 2019, the first of 140 FAW workers came down to the Audi Brussels plant to learn the tricks to assemble the e-tron they have to build in China.
Tesla first to own Chinese factory
The Audi-FAW joint venture’s headquarters will be based in Changchun, north-eastern China, where the FAW-VW joint venture is also present. The latter dates back to 1991 already, with Volkswagen holding a minority stake (20%) and Audi (10%), as Chinese law required until recently.
In China, Tesla’s giga-factory in Shanghai, starting production in 2019, was the first foreign factory 100% owned by a foreign company. So far, all foreign investors had to partner for 50% at least with a Chinese company to produce in China.
The new factory in Changchun will produce PPE-based models for the Chinese market starting in 2024. Which Audi model will be the first to use the new platform isn’t officially revealed yet. Not even for Europe. Porsche will use the platform as a first for the electric Macan from 2022 on.