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VW to build low-cost sedan

2007-03-19 08:12
Volkswagen is planning to introduce a new small sedan specifically targeted at the Asia-Pacific region once tie-up talks with Malaysia's Proton are finalised, a senior VW executive said in published remarks on Saturday.

"We should have news in the next few weeks," Kevin Rose told The Straits Times, adding he is confident of wrapping up the talks with Proton soon.

The car, to be made in Malaysia, would be followed by a bigger sedan in Singapore to open VW's revamped showroom, said Rose. General Motors is also reportedly in the running for the tie-up with Proton.

VW has a strong presence in China and Japan, but it lags behind German counterparts Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the rest of the Asia-Pacific.

The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer entered into talks with Proton in 2005. The Malaysian government has given the loss-making Proton until the end of this month to find a partner.

VW has contingency plans should the talks with Proton fail.

"We will start making cars in India this year," Rose was quoted as saying. Production would initially be at Czech subsidiary Skoda's plant in Aurangabad.

VW has been trying to start up manufacturing in the region for more than a decade.

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