Volkswagen in talks with JV partner on audit of Xinjiang plant

(Reuters) -Volkswagen is in talks with its joint venture partner SAIC about whether to conduct an independent audit of its plant in Xinjiang, China, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

The comment comes after German business Handelsblatt reported that preparations for an audit were already underway. Volkswagen declined to confirm this.

It was in “good discussions” on the topic, a spokesperson said, including with SAIC.

Volkswagen investors are placing pressure on the carmaker to carry out an audit of its plant in Xinjiang, a region where rights groups have documented human rights abuses including mass forced labour.

China has denied that human rights abuses take place in the region.

The carmaker is holding a capital markets day on Wednesday, where investors expect the subject to be discussed.

(Reporting by Anna Mackenzie, Jan Schwartz, Victoria Waldersee, Editing by Friederike Heine)