Volkswagen's head of China to leave the country - source

A Volkswagen ID.6 X is displayed ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show, in Shanghai, China April 18, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

BERLIN, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The head Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) Chinese operations, Stephan Woellenstein, is being relieved of his duties and there are talks about finding him a new job within the German carmaker, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Volkswagen has suffered a number of setbacks in the world's biggest auto market, from a sluggish debut for its new electric vehicles to a slide in sales of its Passat sedan after a crash-test video went viral in the country.

"He will leave China," the source said, adding that the exact date had not yet been determined.

German publication Automobilwoche first reported the news, saying that Woellenstein would be replaced at the beginning of February next year.

There are three or four candidates who could replace Woellenstein and the carmaker should make an announcement soon, Automobilwoche said.

Volkswagen declined to comment.

Europe's biggest automaker, which owns brands including Porsche, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini and Bentley, is counting on sales in China, the world's biggest EV market, to help fund its own costly electric transition.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Hans Seidenstuecker, Zuzanna Szymanska and David Clarke

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