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Volkswagen Group kicks off ‘biggest initiative for e-mobility in China's automotive history’

CEO Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, who announced at last year’s Frankfort Motor Show that the group aims to be the market leader in electromobility by 2018, said that the group is planning to send over €18bn on new vehicles, technologies and plants up to 2018 whilst vehicle deliveries in China will be targeted to top 3.5 million for first time in 2014.

The campaign kicks off with the launch this year of the Volkswagen brand's electric up! and e-Golf models. The VW Group will also two new plug-in hybrid vehicles in China next year with the Audi A3 e-tron and the Golf GTE.

Starting in 2016, this will be followed by two models developed specially for the Chinese market in the form of the Audi A6 and a new mid-size limousine from the Volkswagen brand, both plug-in hybrids which are being developed together with the joint venture partners FAW Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen and will be produced locally.

Meanwhile last week saw Bentley announce that it will launch a plug-in hybrid SUV in 2017, announcing that 90% of its future range will be available with high-performance, low-carbon part-electric drivetrains by 2020.

Winterkorn commented: ‘All these vehicles are highly efficient and eco-friendly. And at the same time they offer lots of driving pleasure. That is exactly what people all over the world and here in China expect of the Volkswagen Group. Thanks to the modular strategy, which is also being implemented at our Chinese factories, we can electrify nearly every model in our range: From small cars to large sedans, from pure electric drives to plug-in hybrids.’

The announcement came as the carmaker emphasised that China plays a key role in its plans going forwards.

Winterkorn said: ‘China is the Volkswagen Group's largest single market and plays a key role in our Strategy 2018. For 2014, we have once again set our sights on double-digit growth in China and are aiming to deliver over 3.5 million vehicles to customers for the first time in a calendar year.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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