Volkswagen.gif” width=”99″ height=”101″ align=”right”>The
first pilot-production Volkswagen Polo will roll off a Shanghai assembly line
this August, Hong Jiming, general manager of Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co.
said recently.

Mass production will begin on Dec. 31 and the Polo will be launched in March
2002, according to the Xinwen Chenbao (Shanghai Morning Post) newspaper.

Together with Shanghai GM’s Sail and the Chery, which was recently launched
by the Chery Automotive Co. in conjunction with the Shanghai Automotive Industry
Corp., the Polo is one of three family sedans recently unveiled in Shanghai.

Shanghai residents will therefore have quite a large selection of reasonably
priced family sedans to choose from, the newspaper noted.

New car purchasers in China tend to be parochial, buying models made only in
their region.

The Polo’s introductory price in China will range from 110,000 renminbi
($US13,285), for a base model to Rmb130,000 (US$15,700) for a fully-equipped
car.

All Chinese Polos will have anti-lock brakes and dual airbags as standard.
Although the Polo is classed as a compact sedan, it is almost as roomy as Shanghai’s
(1980s-generation Passat-based) Volkswagen Santana, Hong told the Shanghai Morning
Post.