VW sponsors sports, retains sales race crown

Updated: 2010-12-13 11:18

By Xu Xiao and Han Tianyang (China Daily)

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VW sponsors sports, retains sales race crown

Driver of the Year Zhang Dasheng on the race track in the Scirocco Cup China series. 

To further promote its brand, Volkswagen's sponsorships extend into non-motor sports.

The group has been the official sponsor of the International Table Tennis Federation since 2003 and is active in the sport across the world.

The Volkswagen 2010 Cup table tennis championship was held in Braunschweig, Germany, at the start of this month, with Timo Boll of Germany and Li Xiaoxia from China taking the men's and women's singles titles.

"Volkswagen wants to sponsor a sport with an extensive fan base, not a handful of the elite, so table tennis - China's national game - is a good choice," Hu said after the competition.

Table tennis also embodies excellence, accuracy and perseverance, which fit with Volkswagen's pursuit of perfection in car manufacturing, Hu said.

Volkswagen, the biggest carmaker in China, is now close to breaking through the 2 million vehicle sales benchmark. In the first three quarters, the group sold 1.48 million cars in China, more than its full-year tally of 1.4 million in 2009.

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Volkswagen has joint ventures with First Auto Works in the north and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp in the south. It plans to invest 10.6 billion euros ($13.79 billion) to expand local production and the number of new models in the next five years.

According to Hu, Volkswagen is now in its second wave of new models with the Tiguan, Golf GTI, CC that were launched this year as well as the upcoming new Polo and new Touran.

Between 2006 and 2008, the company's first round of new models included the Sagitar, Magotan, new Bora, Lavida and Skoda-brand cars.

Next year another two Volkswagen mid-sized sedans will be produced at its local joint ventures - the Passat B7 at FAW-Volkswagen and a model code named NMS at Shanghai Volkswagen.

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