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Shanghai Volkswagen Cuts Car Prices to Boost Competitiveness

Volkswagen's joint venture in China, Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive, has cut its car prices by up to 11,000 yuan ($1,420; 1,000 euros) to improve competitiveness, the company said Friday.

The 11,000 yuan, or 11%, reduction puts the price for Shanghai VW's Santana 3000 model at 97,800 yuan ($12,600;9,500 euros), the statement said.

The price for VW's popular Polo was reduced by 2,800 yuan to 3,000 yuan ($360-$390; 270 euros-300 euros), it said. The statement gave no new price, but Polos now sell for about 90,000 yuan-100,000 yuan; ($11,600-$13,000; 8,800 euros-9,800 euros).

Chinese automakers have been forced to slash prices amid intensifying competition in the fast-growing but cost-conscious market.

Shanghai Volkswagen was China's third biggest passenger-car maker by sales last year, reporting sales of 340,600 vehicles, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

VW, the first major foreign automaker to enter the China market in 1984 in a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry, ceded its long-held title of market leader last year to General Motors.

VW last year announced an "Olympic Program" intended to revitalize its brandname in China. It has launched "tailor-made" models such as the Passat Lingyu and Sagitar, a remade version of the Polo, and two Skoda models.

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