(Yicai Global) Jan. 18 -- German luxury automaker Audi AG will delay a plan to make and sell cars with SAIC Motor Corp., China's biggest auto manufacturer, until at least 2018 to calm its present partner FAW Group Corp. and dealers opposed to the partnership, China Daily reported.
"No sales, no production. Nothing this year," Jochem Heizmann, China president and CEO of Volkswagen Group, which owns Audi, is quoted as saying yesterday. The company's main concern is to safeguard its long-term cooperation with FAW and make sure dealers are profitable, he added.
Audi dealers in China, the world's biggest car market, have been against a tie-up between Audi and SAIC Motor after the two signed a framework agreement last November because of concerns about profitability. Last month, SAIC Chairman Chen Hong said the Chinese carmaker planned to move forward with its Audi partnership despite opposition.
"Dealers' concern is profitability," Heizmann said, according to the China Daily. "They are not against a second joint venture."