China got a bit of a late start on the internal combustion engine and has yet to produce a globally-competitive home-grown automaker. So Beijing decided several years ago that it might be better to leapfrog that entire generation of cars and go straight to electric vehicles instead.
Unfortunately, it’s proved harder than expected to build an affordable and practical electric car in China; despite hefty government subsidies, private sales of electric cars have not got off the ground. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that there is no public infrastructure for charging private vehicles (taxi fleets have proven easier to convert to electric). Continue reading »
China has been the bright spot in the luxury car universe for years, but in the first quarter of this year growth slowed to only 4 per cent. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir reports on how the Chinese government’s anti-corruption drive and a slowing economy are hitting luxury car sales.
For more than 30 years, Beijing has been trying to force foreign automakers to transfer technology to their Chinese rivals. To judge from all the happy displays of Sino-foreign joint venture cooperation at this year’s Shanghai auto show, China has now got its way. Or has it?
If there was one thing that Chairman Mao Zedong’s China always promised it would not do, it was repeat the mistakes of the US by building a society based on private car ownership.
But Mao has been gone a long time now and the last decade has seen China go crazy for cars – buying so many that it is now the world’s largest auto market. And that means a lot of cars that need to be cleaned. Continue reading »
As BMW and Volkswagen made clear last week, China and other emerging markets are the big prize for carmakers. Even if EM growth and consumer confidence falters, the outlook from previous car strongholds, especially Europe, is far worse.
So how have carmakers shifted their sales? And how much does China count for the bigger companies? Chart of the week takes a look. Continue reading »
Japanese carmakers have had a rough time of it in China for the past two months, hit by plummeting sales due to the Sino-Japanese islands dispute.
But they have not shied away from the Chinese auto industry’s biggest event of the autumn, the 10th China International (Guangzhou) Automobile Exhibition, held in the stronghold of Japanese cars on the mainland, southern China. Continue reading »
But AllianceBernstein analysts think this may be a passing phase. If they’re right, it could be an opportunity to buy Japanese car stocks, which are well down on the news from China. Continue reading »
Shares in leading Japanese car makers slipped on Friday as evidence mounted of the scale of the customers’ revolt in China prompted by the territorial row between the two countries.
Whether the clients are genuinely angry about the disputed islands, or simply worried about what the neighbours might think, matters less for the hard-pressed sales executives than the hard numbers. Reuters reported on Friday that Chinese sales at Toyota Motor, the top Japanese carmaker, plunged 40 per cent last month. Continue reading »
Despite slowing growth in auto sales, China is a market that global carmakers cannot miss, given its still huge growth potential.
So perhaps a little financing might help? Hyundai Motor will start providing auto loans from this month to Chinese consumers to boost its market share in the world’s largest car market. Continue reading »
One month’s numbers may be a blip, with sales possibly boosted by makers and dealers trying to reach half-year targets. And shipments of trucks and buses fell 9 per cent to 300,000. But the numbers suggest that there’s still some economic life left in the Chinese dragon. Continue reading »
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