PEKING (dpa-AFX) - New Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume has completed his inaugural visit to China. The top executive visited several plants and spoke with representatives of the group's three joint venture partners in the world's largest car market since Monday, following the country's opening up in early January following the surprise lifting of its zero-corona policy. He traveled back to Germany on Friday, according to a VW spokesman.

It was mainly a matter of getting to know each other, they said. As head of Porsche, Blume had repeatedly visited China, but had not met with VW's Chinese cooperation partners, as the Stuttgart-based automaker only operates an import business in China. Things have not been going so well recently in VW's most important market, especially not with electric vehicles, which are booming in China.

In 2022, the group had to accept a minus of 3.6 percent in China. The decline was explained in particular by the Corona lockdowns in the People's Republic, but the overall market meanwhile grew slightly. During his visit, Blume met representatives of the joint venture partners FAW, SAIC and JAC in Changchun in northern China, Shanghai and Hefei in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui respectively, and held talks in Beijing./lw/DP/zb