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China’s Chery Automobile Company has filed a formal complaint against Daimler AG over is usage of “EQ” as designation for an upcoming lineup of Mercedes-Benz electric cars. That’s bad news for Benz, as China possesses the world’s largest EV marketplace and Daimler has already begun promoting its future electric lineup using the name.
The German automaker said last year that it would begin producing EQ models in Europe before the end of the decade, with the global sub-brand sold in both eastern and western markets. Unfortunately, Chery already has a fully electric minicar named the eQ that was launched in China in November of 2014. The car is based on the current Chery QQ, which was the centerpiece of a 2005 lawsuit from General Motors following claims that its design was stolen from the Daewoo Matiz and Chevrolet Spark. Read More >
Badge-engineered bliss awaits environmentally conscious General Motors buyers in China. Announced today, the Buick Velite 5 range-extended electric vehicle will soon launch in the car-hungry marketplace, but Americans might recognize it as something else.
Hiding in plain sight behind that Buick badge — which carries plenty of sales clout in China — is a Chevrolet Volt, which aims to compete against a host of low-cost electrics and gas-powered compacts. Read More >
If you don’t remember Hybrid Kinetic Group, that’s because it nearly vanished from western news after promising to build a 1.5 billion dollar factory in Alabama for its $300,000 hybrid-electric. That factory, planned in 2009, ended up being unable to secure financing after receiving some state-sponsored help to get the ball rolling. It’s a similar story to what happened to a company, ran by the former CEO of China’s Brilliance Auto, in Mississippi and the contemporary situation with Faraday Future in Nevada. In the case of Hybrid Kinetic, the firm managed to secure some visas and financial aid from Alabama before pulling out of the United States in 2011 — presumably never to be heard from again.
However, earlier this month, HK made an appearance at the Geneva International Motor Show with a car that it now says it fully anticipates selling on the American market. The sedan is the result of a 68 million dollar deal with Italian design house Pininfarina to assist the Chinese company in producing a handsome and — more importantly — real electric luxury vehicle for the global marketplace. Read More >
Not content with just offering Chinese buyers the Lincoln Continental, Ford Motor Company plans to take a page from General Motors’ playbook and offer the expansive market its own home-built SUV.
The automaker intends to partner with China’s Changan Automobile Group to build Lincolns in the city of Chongqing, starting in late 2019, Ford claims. The two companies reportedly began talks early last year. Read More >
If your life goals for the near future include recreating the Summer of Love, there’s some far-out news arriving from Volkswagen. Public reaction to the automaker’s electric I.D. Buzz concept proved positive enough to give executives confidence in European and American demand for the reborn Microbus.
Unfortunately for latter-day hippies and retirement-age flower children, their enthusiasm for this out-of-sight green machine won’t be enough for VW to start production. It seems that the model’s future hinges not on the Counter Culture Revolution, but the Cultural Revolution. Read More >
As politicians and labor unions in Europe reel from yesterday’s revelation of high-level talks between General Motors and Peugeot over a possible sale of Opel, GM’s most European-infused brand on this side of the Atlantic is operating business as usual.
Buick, which is GM’s second-largest brand globally by volume behind Chevrolet, has product in the wings, including the largely rumored but unconfirmed Buick Regal, based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia.
Buick sees no problem with that.
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When National Electric Vehicle Sweden bought out Saab Automobile after its 2011 filing for bankruptcy, it expected to get the whole enchilada and went straight to work producing electric 9-3s. However, NEVS filed for bankruptcy itself a few years later and production of those EV 9-3s stopped as it hunted for financial backing from China. Fed up, Saab AB revoked the company’s right to use its name on future NEVS-built products.
While that only changes the badging and branding, it made it feel a little like Electric Vehicle Sweden is defiling Saab’s corpse without the namesake and company’s blessing. Still, the pathway to bringing that disgusting dream to life remained long and dark. NEVS said from day one that its goal was to bring “Saab” back to the world but, after a $12 billion deal with Panda New Energy, it would have to tackle China and plenty of red tape first. After substantial delays, it appears to have found a pair of scissors. Read More >
The recent Guangzhou Auto Show in China was a reflection of everything stereotypical about the Chinese car market: Chinese OEM clones of European vehicles, North American and European legacy platforms resurrected into new China-only models, wacky supercars from unknown Chinese OEMs, stretched European executive sedans, and weird electric vehicles.
The only major North American press headline from the show was bold: “Five New Electric Cars from China, World’s Largest EV Market.” I never saw China as a leader in electric vehicles. However, green car publications like CleanTechnica have stated China is the world’s largest EV market for almost two years now.
What’s the real story behind China’s EV market? There’s both truth and lies in these headlines.
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A billion dollar electric vehicle startup from China has been accused of using photoshopped production car images for their concept cars.
WM Motors, a new electric vehicle startup, recently gained widespread press in Bloomberg, Fortune and Forbes. However, it was Electrek that picked up on the pixelated fakery.
“It appears that one of the first concepts of this billion-dollar EV startup is simply photoshopped images based on promotional pictures of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.”
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Daimler AG had to fire a top-level executive after he reportedly announced that all Chinese people were bastards and then pepper-sprayed one into submission. The incident, which took place on Sunday, began as an ugly dispute over a parking space before evolving into a small-scale race war.
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Jia Yueting, head of China’s LeEco, is finally copping to claims that there was insufficient money to support the company’s wild expanse into new territories.
This is particularly bad news for the moderately sketchy American automotive startup Faraday Future, which is strategically partnered with LeEco and is quite possibly doomed if its parent doesn’t shape up.
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The unloved Honda Crosstour was last sold in 2015 and heavily criticized for its awkward, ungainly styling. After only 2 years, Honda has brought back a car with nearly identical styling in the 2017 Honda Gienia.
Available only in the Chinese market, the Honda Gienia is based on the Honda City, a sedan version of the Honda Fit. Dimension wise, the compact crossover Gienia is significantly smaller than the defunct Crosstour.
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It’s no secret General Motors’ Buick division does the majority of its business in China. The tri-shield brand offers up six separate nameplates in North America for 2017 while giving customers in China the choice of 10 (or 11, depending on how you count them) different nameplates.
One of the models Buick offers in China that it doesn’t offer here is this: the Buick GL8 — and it has a 30-year-old secret beneath its newly redesigned skin.
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They say impersonation is the greatest form of flattery, but that flattery has some serious financial consequences in the world of aftermarket parts.
Ohio-based Fidanza Performance, a supplier of aftermarket clutches, flywheels, and other parts, is the latest victim of Chinese knockoff artists selling “Fidanza-like” products on eBay and through unauthorized retailers.
Needless to say, Fidanza president Jeff Jenkins isn’t thrilled by the mimicry.
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Harkening back to its early days as a purveyor of horseless carriages, Ford Motor Company has patented a no-frills folding vehicle for those who want something more than a bicycle.
Intended for developing countries with poor infrastructure, the patent filing uncovered by Autoblog details a lightweight, endlessly configurable vehicle with a collapsible frame. Read More >