According to a document posted on the China Bidding and Purchase Network website, the VW Group and SAIC Motor invited parts makers to bid on becoming suppliers for an Audi A7L they intend to build, as reported by Autonews Europe.
The document suggests that VW and SAIC have been discussing Audi’s situation for a long time now and that talks have progressed to the point where a supply chain can be established – Audi has only worked with China’s FAW Group until now with regards to manufacturing.
Back in 2017, Audi dealers said that they would not oppose a second joint venture once the German carmaker hit sales of 1 million units per year in China. Audi went on to sell just over 663,000 cars there in 2018, marking a narrow victory over Mercedes and BMW (653,000 and 640,000 units respectively).
Issues however first emerged when Audi recorded its first annual sales drop for China in more than a quarter century back in 2015, while Mercedes and BMW managed to win over buyers with their new-gen designs.
SAIC told Bloomberg that they’ll reveal more about what they’re planning on doing alongside Audi sometime next year, declining to say anything more. Meanwhile, an Audi spokesman in Germany declined to offer any comment.