June 3, 2015 / 6:20 PM / 2 years ago

VW signs deal to boost production of electric cars in China

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The VolksWagen logo is seen on their XL 1 car during the media day at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile, October 3, 2014.Jacky Naegelen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) on Wednesday said it signed a cooperation agreement with SAIC Motor Corporation (600104.SS) to boost production, research and development of electric cars in China.

VW said it has agreed to expand the main plant of the Chinese joint venture SVW in Anting.

Over the next four years, Volkswagen plans to localize more than 15 different electric vehicle models in China, including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, the company said.

Research activities in the field of fuel cells and plug-in hybrid vehicles are to be intensified as well.

It was also agreed that a new C-segment model of the Volkswagen brand would be produced at the Anting plant, to the west of Shanghai, from 2016.

VW said that within the next four years, a new electric vehicle model based on Volkswagen’s Chinese bestseller, the Lavida, is due to roll off the production line at the Anting plant.

These agreements form part of the total investment of 22 billion euros ($25 billion) in China planned by the Volkswagen Group together with its joint ventures by 2019.

Together with its joint ventures Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, the Volkswagen Group delivered a total of 3.7 million vehicles in China in 2014, representing an increase of 12.4 percent over the previous year.

The Volkswagen Group has 29 vehicle and component production locations in China.

($1 = 0.8889 euros)

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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