Audi will roll out more than nine electrified models in China by 2021 as part of Volkswagen Group’s plan to accelerate the introduction of electrified vehicles in the country.
Audi’s first EV, the e-tron crossover, is imported, Audi said at the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai this week.
Local production of the e-tron will begin sometime next year at the Changchun plant of FAW-Volkswagen, a joint venture between China FAW Group and VW Group.
Audi sells two plug-in hybrids in China -- the locally built plug-in version of the stretched A6 sedan and the imported plug-in variant of the Q7 SUV.
Before the end of the year, Audi plans to import three additional plug-in hybrid products -- variants of the Q5 crossover and the A7 Sportback and A8 sedans.
The number of electrified models in its local lineup will exceed 9 by 2021, Audi said, without providing further details on these models.
By 2025, all the products it sells in China will be electrified, it added.
Audi was the largest luxury brand in China until 2018. It has been outsold by Mercedes-Benz in the first three quarters of the year. During the first nine months, Audi sales edged up 1.7 percent to 491,040 while Mercedes deliveries rose 5 percent to 525,890.
Last week, VW Group unveiled a plan to accelerate the roll-out of EVs and plug-in under the VW brand in China.
VW brand will introduce ten ID battery electric models by 2023, with the first product, the ID3 crossover, to be built at VW Group’s partnership with SAIC Motor Corp. in Shanghai at the end of 2020.
In addition, the brand will also launch five electrified vehicles adapted from gasoline models in China.
VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said on Friday that trial production has started at VW's and SAIC Motor's $2.5 billion electric vehicle factory in Shanghai. Besides the VW brand's ID series EVs, the plant will also produce other models from Audi, the joint-venture partners said.
Diess also said Volkswagen plans to make 22 million electric vehicles by 2028, half of them in China.
The VW brand now sells five electrified models in China -- battery versions of the Lavida, Golf and Bora sedans, and plug-in hybrid variants of the Passat sedan and Tiguan crossover.