New joint venture with Chinese firm FAW aims to increase Audi’s market presence in China
The yet-to-be-named Audi models will be produced in partnership with Chinese manufacturer First Automobile Works (FAW) in the north-eastern city of Changchun.
Overseeing the Sino-German operation is a newly formed company, Audi-FAW. Majority-owned by Audi and its parent company’s Chinese subsidiary, it will be responsible for the manufacturing of a range of different EVs.
These will possibly include an upcoming electric version of the third-generation Q5 in long-wheelbase guise for the Chinese market – the Q5L e-tron, as Audi insiders describe it to Autocar.
The zero-emissions SUV has been conceived around the PPE platform – a new, dedicated electric vehicle architecture jointly developed by Audi and sister company Porsche.
Different to the J1 platform that underpins the Porsche Taycan and its soon-to-be-revealed sister model, the Audi E-tron GT, the PPE platform is claimed to offer greater modularity with differing wheelbases, tracks and ground clearance.
The first production model rumoured to be based on the new structure is an electric version of the Porsche Macan, due out in 2022. Its development is claimed to be twinned with that of the Q5 e-tron.
“With the new Audi-FAW company in Changchun, we’re further expanding our presence on the Chinese market and strengthening our position as a manufacturer of fully electric premium vehicles through local production,” said Markus Duesmann, Audi chairman and the person responsible for the company’s business activities in China.
Audi already produces the long-wheelbase A4L, A6L and Q5L, plus the E-tron quattro EV, together with FAW in Changchun.