Chinese automakers SAIC, Geely turn up heat on global rivals

20 April, 2017, 08:32 | Author: Leticia Walters

Industry executives expect Beijing to ask automakers operating in China ultimately to generate green auto credits equivalent to 12 percent of annual sales volume with NEVs by around 2020, with each green vehicle getting a different number of credits depending on the level of electrification and driving range.

Volvo Cars, the premium vehicle maker, will build its first fully electric vehicle in China, the company announced today at Auto Shanghai in China.

Volkswagen, China's overall market leader, will introduce a range of new SUV models in China this year and ramp up production of electric vehicles, said its China CEO Jochem Heizmann.

Jochem Heizmann, China CEO for Volkswagen, the country's top auto brand, told reporters in Shanghai VW would partner with Chinese car-sharing operator Shouqi in multiple cities, partly to boost electric-vehicle sales.

Ford said by 2025 it plans offer electric versions of 70 percent of its models sold in China. Most Chinese automakers sell plug-in battery models but their range is usually no more than 120 to 150 kilometers (75 to 95 miles) - too little to attract most buyers.

The market is banged by Beijing's proposition to require that electric cars comprise 8 percent of every brand's production as soon as next year.

The vehicle will be made by GM's joint venture with a state-owned automaker, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp.

Industry executives say long term, they expect China will insist on more electric vehicles, and to be ready, they must invest in developing those vehicles now.

Those two joint ventures accounted for about 16.5 percent of the Chinese passenger vehicle market a year ago, compared with just 1.3 percent share for SAIC's own brands.

SAIC, China's highest-selling automaker, is rethinking its expansion plans due to uncertainty regarding President Donald Trump's trading policy.

Lynk & Co - a new unit of Chinese automaker Geely, which owns Volvo - unveiled in Shanghai two SUVs with built-in touch-screen sharing software developed with Microsoft and Sweden's Ericsson.

Government plans call for China to have 100,000 public charging stations and 800,000 private stations by next year, up from a total of 50,000 at the start of 2016. But Chinese authorities are using a mix of incentives and penalties to push automakers to produce electric models. But with the Chinese SUV market steadily on the rise, prospects look promising for the Korean SUV maker to take its flagship Tivoli, the No. 1 subcompact SUV in Korea, into the Chinese market.

Volvo also plans to launch another larger electric auto by 2019.

"Instead of entering the (car-sharing) market once it becomes big, we want to make it big", Visser said.

SsangYong said it is considering building an assembly line in China to meet "explosive" demand for small SUVs in the world's biggest automobile market.

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