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Audi plans output of stretched A7 at VW-SAIC joint venture

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Audi, which has only produced vehicles at Volkswagen Group’s joint venture with China FAW Group Corp. since entering the Chinese market more than two decades ago, will begin output at VW’s partnership with SAIC Motor Corp. this year to further boost its luxury presence. 

The first Audi vehicle to be built at SAIC-VW’s Anting plant in Shanghai, and the first product to roll off the factory floor, will be the stretched A7 sedan, Audi said this week. 

The sedan, exhibited at the Shanghai auto show this week, is 5,076 mm long, 1,908 mm wide and 1,429 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3,026 mm. 

Its length and wheelbase exceed that of the A7 Sportback, which is sold in China through imports, by 100 mm and 98 mm, respectively. 

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The elongated Audi A7 will go on sale in China in the first half of 2022, according to SAIC. 

Audi launched output at VW-FAW in 1998, becoming the first luxury brand to produce vehicles in China. It remained the largest luxury car brand in the market from then until 2018. 

In the past two years, Audi has been outsold by Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

In the first quarter, Audi deliveries rebounded 83 percent from a coronavirus-stricken year-earlier period to 207,386. 

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In the same period, sales at Mercedes-Benz surged 60 percent to 222,520; combined deliveries of BMW and Mini jumped 97 percent to 229,748, BMW Group said, without breaking down the volume for the two brands. 

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