(Yicai Global) Dec. 1 -- As the deadline set by Audi's dealers nears, Volkswagen Group China reiterated today that it has reached mutual understanding on issues including dealers' interests and that its arm Audi China Co. and dealers will remain long-term cooperative partners in a spirit of mutual trust.
The company announced today on its website that the two parties have negotiated on optimizing dealers' profit margins and sales network management agreements, among other issues.
Audi China, FAW-VW Audi Sales Division, and representatives of Audi's distributors under the China Automobile Dealers Association met on Nov. 30 to reach the above understanding, said Volkswagen China. Executives attended the meeting, including Joachim Wedler, general manager of Audi China. On Nov. 11, Audi and SAIC Volkswagen formally concluded a cooperation framework agreement, by which both parties will set up a joint venture, each holding equal shares, and will imitate the 'Skoda model' with SAIC Volkswagen to manufacture original equipment.
Fear of losing market share has sown discontent among FAW Audi dealers. They are at loggerheads with Audi over its determination to form a new joint venture and have not minced their words in condemning the move. If a clear reply to their ultimatum pledging to cease cooperation with SAIC Volkswagen is not forthcoming before today, the dealers will suspend their purchases of both domestic and imported Audi cars.