Tag: China

By on January 17, 2020

Tesla

While we’re on the subject of American (or somewhat American) automakers looking to beat the Chinese at their own EV game, Tesla has announced a new direction in that massive electric vehicle market.

With Model 3s now rolling into buyers’ hands from its just-opened Shanghai assembly plant, the automaker has turned its eye to the lower end of the market. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2020

fca

Ram Rebels and Power Wagons are a tough fit for China’s cramped, heavily taxed new vehicle market, but “new energy” vehicles (electric cars) are not. With this in mind, Fiat Chrysler is aiming to put EVs in the hands of Chinese consumers through a potential joint venture.

Clearly seeing an avenue for growth — and a way to compensate for falling Jeep sales while challenging industry heavyweights like Volkswagen, GM, and Ford  — FCA has entered talks with Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn, the automaker announced Friday. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2020

Ford has struggled to improve market share in China for years now, as decades of economic growth made the region’s overwhelmingly large population too tempting for global manufacturers to pass up. But it hasn’t been an easy road for foreign automakers. Many entered the region saddled with a lack of brand awareness and were required to enter into joint ventures with Chinese firms to gain access (Ford has three). U.S. products have since faced additional scrutiny as American-Sino relations soured; at the same time, the whole of the market appears to be heading in the wrong direction.

While this hurt plenty of automakers that aren’t Ford, the Blue Oval has really taken it on the chin. The company reported a 26.1 percent sales decline for 2019, marking its third straight year of negative growth in China. At first blush, that may not appear relevant to what’s happening in the West. But Ford hasn’t seen its market share in the People’s Republic rise above 5 percent since 2008 (it’s about half that now), despite putting plenty of resources behind the project.  (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2020

Maybe it won’t be needed, what with a new sport-utility vehicle on the way, but Aston Martin’s deflated stock price and profit dive has the British automaker in search of a financial parachute. By that, we mean investors who can pump a little cash into the company while boosting shareholder confidence.

After a disappointing year, Aston Martin needs to chart a path to better finances, and a Chinese company that’s no stranger to endangered European brands might just be that sugar daddy. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2020

When your author’s 2019 Golf SportWagen (to be revealed soon) went into the shop for warranty work after just two weeks of ownership, the dealer provided a service loaner for a couple days (or four). And it was a brand new Passat, but one company PR would never release into the hands of any journalist: the most basic version.

Let’s see if the spacious S sedan is an Ace of Base.

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2020

Image: Lincoln

No, it won’t be shipped to the U.S. — only General Motors does things like that. Chinese customers, on the other hand, will soon be able to get their hands on a Lincoln vehicle built within their country’s borders. Orders opened late last week.

The 2020 Corsair is the first Lincoln-badged vehicle green-lit for local production by Ford Motor Company’s joint venture with Changan Automobile, and it should reach buyers in March. A key plank in Ford’s China 2.0 strategy, local production is seen as a way to reverse the Blue Oval’s sliding sales in the volatile market. (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2020

Next week, Tesla Motors will begin deliveries of its Shanghai-made Model 3 to Chinese customers — who stand to get a bit of a deal on them. Unlike Western markets, China is already loaded with local companies manufacturing electric vehicles and Tesla doesn’t want to lose out on market share simply because it priced its vehicles too high.

Originally, the manufacturer intended on selling introductory Model 3s at 355,800 yuan ($51,000 USD) a pop. That was soon lowered to 323,800 yuan ($46,500) to pull shoppers from automakers like BYD, NIO and Xiaopeng Motors. Broad profit margins are nice, but the Chinese EV market is too crowded for the brand not to focus on market share.  (Read More…)

By on December 27, 2019

Tesla’s first foreign assembly plant will make its first deliveries — to a handful of employees — on December 30th, just shy of a goal marker it set for itself at the beginning of the year.

Construction of the automaker’s $2 billion Shanghai facility kicked off back in January with a promise to reach a production rate of 1,000-plus vehicles per week by the end of the year. While the plant’s production rate is not known, it received the necessary regulatory approvals for production in September, with the first Model 3s assembled in October. (Read More…)

By on December 18, 2019

tesla model 3

The country’s new car market might be in a state of turmoil, but Tesla’s plans for China haven’t changed. It still wants to capture a big chunk of the country’s “new energy” vehicle market, and the creation of a wholly owned assembly plant, plus a range of local suppliers, makes the company’s goal a near certainty.

As it struggles to ramp up production at its Shanghai facility, Tesla plans to go on a price-slashing spree in 2020, a report claims. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2019

China’s car market, officially the world’s largest, is bracing for its second year of negative growth. November was the fourth consecutive month of declining year-over-year sales, representing an improvement from October despite volume dropping 4.2 per cent below last November’s tally. Unfortunately for China, the downward trend has not been the exception, but the rule.

According to the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) was hoping for better. “The market failed to live up to expectations of a strong rebound in November,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the CPCA. “Consumer demand remained weak as people are reluctant to spend on big-ticket items due to worries about a bleak economic outlook.”

This matters in the West because domestic manufacturers have bent over backwards to try and improve sales within the region, expending no small amount of energy or capital in the process. China’s citizenry are also changing their tastes to cope with a weakening economy, and it would be wise to look at the choices they’re making.  (Read More…)

By on December 6, 2019

If you follow the automotive industry at all, you’re undoubtedly aware that the United States is a region that hasn’t quite embraced automotive electrification on the same level as the rest of the developed world. Americans travel longer distances and have particular tastes, making EVs more popular in places like Europe and China. It also hasn’t passed the same sweeping regulations to ensure their advancement.

Whatever the cause, a new survey from London-based OC&C Strategy Consultants attempted to tabulate the disparity — asking 2,000 consumers (apiece) in the U.S., China, Germany, France and United Kingdom between March and April of 2019.

Their findings? Only about half of the surveyed Americans felt EVs were worth their consideration as a potential successor to their current ride. In China, 90 percent said they would seriously consider buying electric. Between 64 and 77 percent of respondents in Europe said the same (depending on country).  (Read More…)

By on December 4, 2019

The coming year isn’t just the first chapter in a new decade, it will also be the final year you’ll be able to purchase a new Buick Regal. For that matter, it’s the last year you’ll be able to buy a Buick car.

Confirmed by a brand spokesman, the 2020 model year will be the midsize Regal’s last in the North American market. (Read More…)

By on November 25, 2019

A new report indicates that BAIC Motor Corp, Daimler’s primary Chinese joint-venture partner, wants to increase its stake in the company. Currently, BAIC owns 5 percent of the German automaker (purchased in July) with rumors swirling in October that the firm wanted to increase its investment. There were also claims that Geely was attempting to stand in the way of the prospective deal.

While not Daimler’s main squeeze in Asia from a production perspective, Geely actually owns 9.7 percent of the company — giving it quite a bit of leverage. As such, there were murmurings that Geely put the kibosh on any ideas BAIC had on investing further. Geely has rebuffed the accusation. “We are a long-term investor in Daimler. We do not react spontaneously to any volatility and we support Daimler’s management and their strategy,” the firm explained.

Be that as it may, there appears to be a minor power struggle between the two Chinese companies. Both seem interested in strengthening their influence and happen to find themselves in each other’s way.  (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2019

Lexus’ first production electric vehicle carries a name that should spur fond memories of a boxy Mercedes-Benz sedan. Yes, the 300E was a desirable German car. Even today, the E 300e is a compelling electrified midsize alternative to those other sedans on the market.

But we’re not here to talk about Mercedes-Benz, even though it’s hard not to when you name a new vehicle the 300e. In this case, it’s the Lexus UX 300e… and it’s not for you, as Corey would say. (Read More…)

By on November 18, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett reportedly confirmed that the new Mustang Mach-E we’ve been talking about all day may need to be manufactured in China. Since this is our third article on the vehicle, we’re immensely sorry and promise to keep this relatively short.

On Monday, Bloomberg quoted Hackett as saying the Mach-E will have to figure out a way around the trade war between the United States and China. “We need to determine whether the tariffs are settled. And it would be great [if they were],” Hackett said following the EV’s launch in Los Angeles. “We have a plan to build there if we have to.”

(Read More…)

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