German car maker Volkswagen plans to produce 330,000 vehicles this year at its joint venture with Shanghai Automotive, 18 per cent more than in 2002, Reuters reported. The joint venture has begun production of the new Gol compact sedan, the price of which will be around Yn80,000. This would make it one of the cheapest foreign-made cars in China, costing less than models produced by US auto giants Ford and General Motors at their respective joint ventures. Shanghai Volkswagen plans to produce around 50,000 vehicles a year and is looking at the possibility of exporting to the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.
VW's ventures have captured about 40 per cent of the passenger car market in China. The company delivered about 511,000 vehicles to Chinese customers in 2002, 42 per cent more than in 2001.