Will go official in 2018.
At the announcement of the company's 2016 financial results, Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG as well as President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, confirmed that the Volkswagen Group will launch a budget brand in China in 2018.
Prof. Dr. Heizmann said that the Volkswagen Group is yet to decide on the name of the low-cost brand for China. In 2011, it was reported that 'Kaili' is the name decided for the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture's new brand. The plan is to sell this brand only in China. The first models built in partnership with First Automobile Works (FAW) would hit the market "with a focus on the SUV segment", Prof. Dr. Heizmann said.
Details are scarce but it is believed that the Volkswagen Group is planning a mid-size SUV as the first product for its new budget brand, with a sedan and hatchback likely following later.
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In other news, the Volkswagen Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Motors last week to jointly develop vehicle components and possibly also vehicle concepts. Under the terms of this MoU, both companies will explore possibilities for a strategic partnership in India and emerging markets, with Skoda Auto leading the project on the Volkswagen Group's side.