Caixin
Mar 06, 2017 06:56 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Audi Recalls More Than 680,000 Cars in China

Customers inspect Audi cars in a FAW-Volkswagen Audi Co., Ltd. store in Nanjing city, Jiangsu province on March 6, 2011. Audi is recalling around 680,900 cars sold in China. Photo: Visual China.
Customers inspect Audi cars in a FAW-Volkswagen Audi Co., Ltd. store in Nanjing city, Jiangsu province on March 6, 2011. Audi is recalling around 680,900 cars sold in China. Photo: Visual China.

(Beijing) — Audi is recalling around 680,900 cars sold in China whose coolant pumps could overheat, in the latest blow for the German automaker as it reels from stiff competition and lingering fallout from a clash with its local dealer network.

Audi’s China joint venture, FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co., Ltd., will launch the recall on Friday, which will include inspections and needed repairs for coolant pumps, according to a statement on the website of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The recall involves some 2012-2015 A6L, 2013-2014 A4L and Q5 models produced between May 3, 2011 and January 17, 2016 in China. It also covers some 2013-2014 A4 Allroad and 2012-2014 A5 models produced between November 7, 2011 and Nov. 8, 2013 overseas.

The move by Audi, a unit of German auto giant Volkswagen AG, is part of a global recall involving some 1.1 million A4, A5, Q5, A6 and A8 models that need software updates in their engine control units. Audi in late January recalled 342,900 cars affected by the same problem in the U.S.

The recall comes as Audi, one of the earliest and most successful luxury car brands in China, is in danger of losing its longtime title as king of the market, which accounts for about one third of its global sales. In January the company’s sales plummeted by 35.3% to 35,000, as it was passed by both of its leading German rivals, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, for the first time.

Part of that steep decline came from a recent clash with its current dealers, who oppose Audi’s plan to set up a new dealer network. The German carmaker currently makes all of its domestically produced cars with FAW Group Corp., but last year announced a new joint venture to make more vehicles and develop a new dealer network with Shanghai’s SAIC Motor Corp.

That deal was strongly opposed by Audi’s current China dealers, who argued that it would affect their business unless Audi could ensure its annual sales would reach 1 million, almost double what it accomplished last year.

Contact reporter Coco Feng (renkefeng@caixin.com)

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