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China is opening its vehicle market, but auto companies say not enough

29 April, 2018, 21:55 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • 2018 VW Lavida Debuts In Beijing With Oh-So Familiar Design

The comments reflect how foreign auto makers have been going out of their way to show their commitment the Chinese market amid simmering trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Audi head Rupert Stadler said the firm would look to offer 10 new 4x4s in China by 2022, and that by 2025 it expected 30 per cent of its sales in the market to be electric vehicles.

Accounting for some 28.9 million auto sales past year, the Chinese vehicle market could soon match those of the European Union and United States combined.

In order to keep growing, it looked like Tesla needs to have domestic mass production of the cheaper Model 3 electric vehicle, but the company seemed reticent to establish local manufacturing capacity due to the requirement of having to partner with a Chinese firm.

Automakers also displayed dozens of gasoline-powered models from compact sedans to luxurious SUVs. First-quarter sales rose 11.3 percent over a year earlier to 2.6 million, or nearly 45 percent of total auto sales, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

VW is due to launch 15 electrics and hybrids in the next two to three years as part of a 10 billion euro ($12 billion) development plan announced in November.

Over the course of the next eight years, VW aims to release around 40 models into the Chinese auto market, and will also produce a brand new electric vehicle brand in conjunction with a local partner. The group was increasing its Chinese investments as the market continues to surprise to the upside, Heizmann said.


BYD Auto, the biggest global electric brand by number sold, presented two hybrid SUVs and an electric concept vehicle at the show.

The company, which manufactures electric buses at a California factory and exports battery-powered taxis to Europe, also displayed nine other hybrid and plug-in electric models.

"Our focus is not just an EV that runs".

Electrics are likely to play a leading role as Chery develops plans announced previous year to expand to Western Europe, said Chen.

"BAIC is going to become a leading domestic and world-class new energy car-manufacturing company", Xu said. In recognition of this, VW, The world's largest auto manufacturer plans to restructure its operations, and to establish a new business unit dedicated to expanding the role of electric and autonomous vehicles in China.

But it's the first time that Tesla itself is bringing one in the country.

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