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VW CEO draws SAIC complaint over remarks about raising stake in joint ventures
Automotive News China | 2019/3/19

SAIC Motor Corp. expressed disappointment over comments Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess made last week on the possibility of increasing the German automaker¡¯s shares in China-based joint ventures. 

It is "regrettable" that VW unilaterally commented on important matters regarding shares in its joint ventures in China without consulting local partners, SAIC said in a statement Monday. 

The Chinese government, under pressure to accelerate market reforms, pledged in June 2018 to phase out by 2022 the 50-percent cap on foreign automakers¡¯ interest in joint ventures formed with local companies.
 
Late last year, BMW AG became the first global carmaker to embrace the policy change, gaining control of its partnership with Brilliance China Automotive by lifting its interest in Brilliance BMW to 75 percent from 50 percent. 

Diess, asked whether VW would also raise its interest in China-based joint ventures, said at a news briefing at VW¡¯s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, on March 12 that the company is evaluating the possibility, according to Chinese newspapers present at the briefing, such as the Economic Daily and Beijing News.  

Diess also told Chinese journalists that he hopes VW and its Chinese partners can finalize and disclose how to adjust stakes in their partnerships in the second half of 2019 or early 2020. 

VW has three joint ventures in China. 

SAIC Volkswagen, a 50-50 partnership established in 1985 between SAIC and VW, produces cars for the Volkswagen and Skoda brands. 

FAW Volkswagen, a 60-40 joint venture incorporated in 1991 between China FAW Group Corp. and VW, builds vehicles for the Volkswagen and Audi brands. 

JAC Volkswagen, a 50-50 electric vehicle partnership formed in 2017 between Jianghuai Automobile Co. and VW, has yet to launch sales. 

In 2018, VW delivered 4.21 million vehicles under its various brands in China, edging up 0.5 percent from a year earlier. 

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