(ATTN: ADDS executives' comments in paras 4-5, first photo)
By Choi Kyong-ae
SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- Audi Volkswagen Korea (AVK) said Friday that 25 percent of all cars it aims to sell in South Korea by 2020 will run on electric power as the German carmaker moves toward a "greener" model lineup.
The announcement to strengthen its electric vehicle (EV) models is in line with the company's broader global strategy and comes as the carmaker has resumed sales here in November after suspending operations following the "diesel gate" emissions cheating scandal. Volkswagen stopped sales in August 2016, and Audi cars followed in March 2017.
"We utilized last year as an opportunity to reflect on our past and to transform AVK by focusing on the following three key principals: work on old issues and resolve them, be an open and transparent company, and develop a sustainable plan for the future," Group Managing Director Rene Koneberg at Audi Volkswagen Korea said in a press conference.
One of Audi's e-tron vehicles will to be the first electric car model to be introduced here, Rene Koneberg said. Audi's first regular-production electric model is the e-tron Quattro SUV and other e-tron models are set to be rolled out.
Audi Volkswagen Group plans to produce 3 million electric vehicles by 2025 as it is confident that the emissions-free vehicle market is on the rise due to regulations and a growing appetite for environment friendly cars among customers.
In South Korea, AVK currently sells the R8 sports car, the 2.0-liter diesel powered A6 sedan and the 2.0-liter diesel Passat sedan here. The 40 new models the company plans to introduce will be sold under four brands: Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley and Lamborghini.
The German carmaker has recalled 51,613 vehicles since February 2017 in South Korea. It has yet to recall 73,902 vehicles sold in Korea.
In the January-March period, AVK sold a combined 868 vehicles, down 6.8 percent from 931 units a year earlier under the four brands, according to data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.
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