Former top executive at China's FAW Car investigated for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - A former top executive at Chinese automaker FAW Car Co Ltd has been expelled from China's Communist Party and handed over to legal authorities suspected of bribery, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

The case against Zhang Xiaojun, former general manager of FAW Car's sales company, follows on the investigation and expulsion of the chairman of parent company China FAW Group Corp announced in March that stems from Chinese President Xi Jinping's wider corruption crackdown.

An FAW Group spokesman declined to comment. Zhang was not immediately available to comment.

Zhang is suspected of taking bribes when he was an executive vice president in the Audi sales division at FAW-Volkswagen, a joint venture between Volkswagen AG and FAW Group, between 2006 and 2012, Xinhua said, citing China's anti-graft agency.

He allegedly accepted bribes from dealers in exchange for helping them when selecting where to build Audi dealerships and in awarding sales rebates, the state-owned newswire reported.

(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Nick Macfie)