VW's China JV to buy partner's unit for $73 mln

SHANGHAI, March 16 - Volkswagen AG's car making venture in north China has agreed to take over a subsidiary from its partner FAW Group for 502.35 million yuan ($73.46 million), an FAW spokesman said on Monday.

FAW group, which makes Volkswagen and Audi cars in a tie-up with the top European automaker, had put up its subsidiary in the western city of Chengdu for sale at the Tianjing Property Rights Exchange last month.

But the spokesman with the Chinese auto group told Reuters the two sides had already reached a deal before the public auction but needed to go through official procedure as required by regulators.

FAW's Chengdu unit made a net profit of 354.66 million yuan in 2008, data on the property exchange's website showed. No capacity information was provided.

Volkswagen, which competes with General Motors Corp, Toyota Motor Corp in China and globally, sold 1.02 million vehicles in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau in 2008, up 12.5 percent from a year earlier.

The automaker said last month that it planned to double its vehicle sales in the Greater China area by 2018 and add four models each year during the period.

Volkswagen also has a car manufacturing venture with SAIC Motor Corp , China's biggest automaker.


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