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Electric cars in China

Volkswagen to invest $18bn in China by 2022

New chief Diess says six EV plants to be built in world's largest auto market

Herbert Diess, second from right, the new CEO of Volkswagen, revealed an ambitious plan in China on April 24 at the event before Auto China 2018. (Photo by Akihide Anzai)

BEIJING -- Volkswagen said on Tuesday it will invest 15 billion euros ($18.3 billion) in the Chinese market by 2022, including the manufacturing of e-mobility and autonomous vehicles.

"Chinese market is the key of our success, the Chinese government is very committed to new mobility, that's one of the reasons why we invest," Herbert Diess, the newly appointed CEO of Volkswagen said Tuesday, a day ahead of the opening of a major trade show, Auto China 2018.

The German carmaker plans to invest 34 billion euros throughout the world during the same period. The Chinese government is encouraging carmakers to sell more vehicles powered by new technologies and energy sources instead of conventional engines. Diess announced a plan to start producing electric vehicles in six factories in China by 2021.

Volkswagen sold over 4 million cars in China in 2017, up 5% from the previous year. 

Volkswagen's investment plan includes new mobility services and it already has a partnership with Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing. Jochem Heizmann, the president of Volkswagen Group China said on the sidelines of Tuesday's event: "We are going to start our new service with Didi, not only to provide our cars for car-sharing but also start a new service."

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