SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Company, a joint venture between Shanghai-based SAIC Motor and Volkswagen, plans to set up a separate division for the production and sale of Audi models in China, according to local reports.
Audi production and sales in China are currently only carried out by the German automaker's other main joint venture in the country, FAW-Volkswagen.
But Volkswagen is keen to strengthen Audi sales in the world's largest market by also using the resources of its SAIC-Volkswagen joint venture.
SAIC Motor and Volkswagen group originally signed a preliminary agreement at the end of 2016 to produce and sell Audi cars in China but the project was delayed after FAW dealers felt threatened by the additional competition.
The new Audi division will be headed up by SAIC-Volkswagen's current executive vice president of marketing and sales, according to the reports, which also suggest that it may initially market Audis online to avoid conflict with FAW-Volkswagen dealers early on.
The China Daily reported separately Audi China confirmed it is "currently preparing the related processes and structures" with its partners, adding "the SAIC-Audi project is progressing on schedule as agreed with all stakeholders".