China has been a major growth pole for VW Group. Together with its JVs - SVW and FAW-VW, the VW Group delivered 3.7m vehicles in China in 2014, 12.4% ahead of the previous year.

China has been a major growth pole for VW Group. Together with its JVs - SVW and FAW-VW, the VW Group delivered 3.7m vehicles in China in 2014, 12.4% ahead of the previous year.

Volkswagen has inked a cooperation agreement with JV partner SAIC to intensify cooperation in e-mobility and prepare for the local production of electrified vehicles.

The agreement intensifies the cooperation between the two OEMs at the Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW) joint venture and calls for the production of plug-in hybrid and fully electric models in China and for an expansion of the Anting/Shanghai plant.

Volkswagen said that the "full localisation of the Volkswagen Group's electric vehicles in China is to be gradually implemented".

"Volkswagen is a strong motor for the high-tech location China. Together with our long-standing partner SAIC, we are consistently forging ahead with advanced, environmentally compatible technologies. With these technologies, we will shape the automobile future of China. One of the main emphases is on electro-mobility," VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said.

"Over the next four years, we plan to localise more than 15 different electric vehicle models in China, including plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles," said Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, VW's China boss.

With the development and local production of electric vehicles and components, Volkswagen also says it is taking the next step in the further expansion of its research and development expertise in China. Research activities in the field of fuel cells and plug-in hybrid vehicles are to be intensified as well, VW said.

It was also agreed that a new C-segment model of the Volkswagen brand would be produced at the Anting plant, to the west of Shanghai, from 2016.

In around four years' time, a new electric vehicle model based on Volkswagen's Chinese model, the Lavida, is due to roll off the production line at the Anting plant- this will be the first fully electric vehicle produced at the plant.

These agreements form part of the total investment of EUR22bn in China planned by the Volkswagen Group together with its joint ventures by 2019.

The Chinese government is encouraging the sale and production of electrified vehicles in the Chinese market on the back of rising concerns over air quality in many Chinese cities.