BEIJING, Sept 7 Volkswagen AG is
exploring a potential joint venture with Chinese automaker Anhui
Jianghuai Automobile (JAC Motor), Chinese media
reported on Wednesday.
JAC said in a statement on the Shanghai stock exchange late
Tuesday that it was halting trading in its shares because it
planned to sign a cooperative memorandum of understanding but
gave no further details.
State-owned newspaper China Daily reported, citing sources,
that VW and JAC likely aim to build a new joint venture
together. Independent financial news outlet Caixin also reported
that VW was the unnamed potential partner mentioned in JAC's
According to Caixin, the joint venture would be aimed at
making electric cars, with sales in the so-called "new energy
vehicle" segment having more than quadrupled in China last year
thanks to a raft of government incentives and targets.
An official in JAC's media office declined to comment in
advance of a public announcement.
A Volkswagen spokesman said the company would release a
statement later on Wednesday when contacted about the matter. He
did not elaborate.
Volkswagen is locked in a dead heat with U.S. automaker
General Motors for the title of largest automaker in
China, the world's biggest auto market, with GM's primary joint
ventures slightly edging out VW's to sell the most cars in the
market last year, according to automaker association data.
Global auto brands are only allowed to manufacture cars
domestically in China through joint ventures with local
partners, with automakers typically limited to two JV partners.
Volkswagen already has joint ventures with SAIC Motor
and China FAW Group.
JAC Motor is the ninth largest automaker in China by group
sales, according to the China Association of Automobile
(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)