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VW's China JV with SAIC names Jia Jianxu as its new head

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Volkswagen's joint venture with China's SAIC Motor said on Monday it had appointed Jia Jianxu, a veteran executive at the state-owned Chinese automaker, as its new general manager.

Born in 1978, Jia has more than 20 years of experience in the auto industry and was in charge of SAIC's European market expansion, according to SAIC-VW's statement. Both automakers have a 50% share in the joint venture.

Since 2018, Jia has been the general manager at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, a SAIC-owned vehicle seat maker, and helped develop its intelligent cockpit products.

Jia's appointment comes as Volkswagen is ramping up its efforts in electric vehicles (EVs) in China, with its I.D. series aimed at competing with Tesla and Chinese players in the world's largest EV market.

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SAIC-VW sold a total of 91,761 pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars in 2022, while China's BYD sold nearly 1.8 million units and Tesla 439,770 units, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Mark Potter)