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BERLIN: Volkswagen's premium automaker Audi's joint venture to build electric vehicles in China with state-owned FAW Group is behind schedule due to a delay in approval by the relevant authorities, Audi said on Monday.

Building work would be initiated as soon as possible, the spokesperson added, without giving a start date for either the construction of the plant or the production of cars.

German auto publication Automobilwoche first reported on Monday that the licence for Audi and FAW to begin building the plant, which was due to start producing cars from 2024, is expected to arrive in December after intervention from Germany's economic ministry.

The German economic ministry was not immediately available to comment.

Audi signed a memorandum of understanding with China's state-owned FAW Group in October 2020 to jointly produce premium electric vehicles (EVs) in China, the world's largest car market.

The German carmaker has a longstanding partnership with FAW to make combustion engine cars in the northeastern city of Changchun and the southern city of Foshan.

FAW owns 40% of the joint venture, while Volkswagen and Audi own 60%.

Audi also plans to make vehicles with Shanghai-based automaker SAIC Motor, with a goal for electrified vehicles to account for a third of Chinese sales by 2025.

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