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Audi Q5 to be China built in 2009 for local market

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Shanghai, June 6 Audi, the premium unit of Volkswagen, has decided to build the new smaller SUV, Q5, in China next year. The Audi Q5 made its global debut at the 2008 Beijing auto show in April, when sources said that Audi would sell its locally made Q5 cars, rather than imported ones, in the Chinese market.

At this week's Shanghai auto-parts show, Hankook Tire has displayed its Optimo K415 tire for passenger cars. The Korean tire-maker's China company said that the Hankook Optimo K415 tire series will be used next year in the Audi Q5 cars made in China. The testing of various tires in this series specailly designed and upgraded for the Audi Q5 is being carried out. The Hankook Optimo K415 tire has been used in the Nissan Qashqai, Shanghai VW's Polo, and Skoda Octavia.

The Audi Q5 will be built using the new Audi MLP platform and will compete with the BMW X3, Infiniti EX, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Saab 9-4X, Volvo XC60 and the upcoming Cadillac BRX. It will be offered with multiple engine configurations, including gasoline/petrol, TDI, and Hybrid gasoline/electric.

Earlier reports said that Audi has started building a new plant with its Chinese partner FAW in Changchun, northern China, to assemble the new compact SUV Q5. Local production of the vehicle for the Chinese market is due to start in August 2009.

The Audi Q5 is due to hit dealers in Europe later this summer and sales are expected to begin in the United States at the beginning of next year.