Expect to see greener Volkswagen, SAIC and FAW vehicles on Chinese roads in the future.

The Volkswagen Group announced March 31 it will be cooperating more closely with its Chinese joint venture partners SAIC Motor Co. and First Automotive Works (FAW) Group in the field of forward-looking technologies.

Joint declarations to that effect were signed in Berlin on Friday by Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft with responsibility for China and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, with Chen Hong, President of SAIC Motor Co. Ltd., and with Xu Jianyi, Chairman of FAW Group.

VW stated the further development of particularly eco-friendly models along with a joint research project was agreed for Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW), while the development and production of a new, very eco-friendly vehicle in China was agreed with FAW. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Angela Merkel.

“Volkswagen has already been a reliable partner for the People’s Republic of China for 30 years,” said Prof. Heizmann while speaking at the ceremony. “We will continue to set the standard in the Chinese automotive industry with highly-efficient engines and forward-looking technologies.”

These projects are part of the €18.2 billion investment program in new plants and products which Volkswagen and its joint venture partners are implementing between 2014 and 2018. VW said in total, the investment program is the largest in the history of the Chinese automotive industry.

At the same time, VW explained an agreement was also reached on further expanding production capacity at the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture; a location has not yet been selected. Volkswagen has set its sights on installing the technical capacity to produce over four million vehicles per year in China by 2018.

In 2013, Volkswagen produced and sold over 3 million vehicles in China.