HONG KONG - Volkswagen will build its new Lupo minicar in China, according to Stefan Jacoby, VW's vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.
Jacoby said a decision on a partner and plant will be made in the first half of 1999.
The Lupo goes on sale early next year in Europe, initally only in Germany. It is powered by a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder direct-injection diesel engine. Jacoby said its clean-burning engine makes the car ideal for China. Volkswagen claims that the Lupo is the first car to meet the German auto industry's 'three-liter' fuel consumption target of just three liters for each 100km travelled.
'The Chinese government is aware of environmental issues and is interested in advanced diesel technology,' said Jacoby, speaking at the China Automotive Conference here this month.
The 'three-liter' Lupo produces only 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer - the lowest of any production car.
China is expected to get a more basic version than Europe, where the Lupo will have one of the plushest interiors of any small car on the market.