Posts Tagged ‘Chinese auto industry’

Beijing Auto Show Swarmed by Makers’ Newest Designs

The 14th annual show reveals new vehicles, concepts, strategies.

by on Apr.21, 2014

The 14th annual Beijing Auto Show is underway, and it’s got plenty for everyone, from the return of the Ford Escort to the new Mercedes-Benz Coupe Concept, the plug-in Bentley Mulsanne to the 400 hp VW Golf R 400.

Here’s a handy guide to our complete coverage. Make sure to keep coming back as we add more stories! (more…)

Auto Boom Brings Challenges to China

The world’s largest car market discovers the perils of petroleum imports, smog and traffic.

by on May.26, 2011

A days-long traffic jam on the G-110 toll road into Beijing underscored the perils of China becoming a nation on wheels.

The People’s Republic of China faces a huge dilemma when it comes to cars.

On the one hand the swift rise of the Chinese automobile industry has brought jobs, investment and a huge measure of prestige to China over the past decade. Only last month, the Shanghai Auto Show eclipsed the New York Auto Show by attracting senior executives from Daimler AG, Toyota and Volkswagen, among others.  China’s hunger for new vehicles probably won’t peak for another decade, according to most estimates.

China is now the world’s largest automotive market, surpassing the United States and is unlikely to slip back into second place, noted Columbia University economics professor Jeffrey Sachs during a panel discussion at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.

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However, Gao Honfeng, China’s vice minister of transport, told that same forum that China is acutely aware of the environmental and other hazards posed by the rapid development of its automotive culture.

There’s been a significant price tag for putting the nation on wheels: most notably in the form of paralyzing traffic jams, choking smog and a costly dependence upon foreign sources of energy.


Is China Boom About to Go Bust?

Sales pace tumbles – threatening industry plans.

by on Mar.09, 2011

The Chevy Volt on display at Shanghai's Expo 2010.

When Toyota President Akio Toyoda outlined his company’s new “Global Vision,” which calls for sales to grow 20%, to 10 million annually, China was expected to play a key role, eventually accounting for 15% of the maker’s worldwide volume. (Click Here for more.)

And Toyota isn’t alone.  Indeed, it’s hard to find a single manufacturer that isn’t betting on China, which is today the world’s largest new car market and which has posted growth, in recent years, that has at times approached triple digits.

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But could the boom ready to go bust?  With some analysts worrying about a bubble in the Chinese economy – and with some smog and traffic-snarled cities, notably including Beijing, taking steps to reduce vehicle sales – might car sales be peaking?  The latest numbers certainly raise some flags.


Is BYD Ready To Go Bust?

Ambitious Chinese maker’s fortunes take a serious turn for the worse.

by on Oct.27, 2010

Late for an American debut, the BYD E6.

Its name is short for “Build Your Dreams,” but could the “B” in BYD soon stand for “bust”?

It’s starting to look like that for the Chinese firm that started out as a cellphone battery supplier but has morphed into one of that country’s more ambitious, home-grown automakers.

The Shenzhen-based firm, which is backed by American mega-investor Warren Buffett, has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, ranging from recalls to confrontations with Chinese authorities.  But the latest problem could be one that BYD has trouble rectifying.

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The maker reported a 99% drop in third-quarter earnings, this week, triggering an equally sharp downturn in its stock price, which is nearing its 52-week low.  Whether the company’s charismatic founder and chairman, Wang Changfu, can turn things around remains to be seen, but there are few signs of any immediate turnaround.

It wasn’t supposed to go that way.  BYD’s little F3 has been the best-selling car in China this year, but is feeling the pinch of regulatory changes.


Chevy Heads J.D. Power China Satisfaction Study

Shanghai GM joint venture bests 42 other vehicle brands.

by on Aug.10, 2010

Smooth sailing for the Chevrolet brand in China at the dealer service level.

Chevrolet finished first among 42 vehicle brands in the 2010 China Customer Service Index study by J.D. Power Asia Pacific. Chevrolet, a brand of Shanghai GM, scored 875 on a 1,000-point scale.

Now in its 10th year, the Power study measures satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit an authorized dealer service department for maintenance or repair work between 12 and 24 months of vehicle ownership, which typically represents a substantial portion of the vehicle warranty period. Five measures are used to determine overall satisfaction with dealer service: service quality, vehicle pickup, service initiation, service advisor and service facility. Overall satisfaction is reported as an index score based on a 1,000-point scale.

The Chevy finish is potentially significant since China is the now clearly the world’s largest auto market. GM has a growing presence there, and it is locked in a battle with VW Group for sales leadership. Record annual sales of 17 million are expected this year in China, a 25% increase from 2009.

Vehicle sales by General Motors and its joint ventures in China rose 22.2% on an annual basis in July to 176,645 units, a new record for the month. Sales growth by GM’s Shanghai GM joint venture remained especially strong, rising 42.1% on an annual basis to 80,269 units – also a record for the month of July.


Chinese Auto Market Cooling, But Still at 17 Million

Inventories high, dealer confidence low for the balance of 2010.

by on Jul.21, 2010

China claimed the global sales crown for 2009 and will likely retain it for years, if not forever.

The Economic Monitoring Center of China National Bureau of Statistics and Sinotrust International Information & Consulting today said that even though the Chinese market was growing at a record 18-million unit rate for the first half of 2010, it can’t be sustained for the balance of the year.

Dealers are not optimistic about for the second half of the year, traditionally a slack sales period, and inventories have grown.

Still, record annual sales of 17 million are expected, a 25% increase from 2009.

There is an ongoing debate in China concerning what is a sustainable rate of growth in what is now by far the world’s largest auto market.

According to the survey conducted with automakers and dealers, the “cooling off” was caused by declining sales closing rates and the pressure from the increasing inventory.

Although still optimistic, most automakers are now cautious in making predictions the size of the market in the third quarter.


VW Signs Contracts for another Chinese Plant

Another 300,000 vehicles annually from Eastern China.

by on Jul.16, 2010

The biggest maker in China plans to get bigger.

The Volkswagen Group will build a new vehicle production plant in Jiangsu Province, China. The contracts were signed today by Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, and Dr. Winfried Vahland, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, together with representatives of Shanghai Volkswagen.

The plant in Yizheng, Eastern China, will start operating in 2013 and has a maximum annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.

VW is already the largest maker in China, and it will double production capacity there to 3 million vehicles by the end of 2014.

“China is one of the most important automotive markets of the future and a dynamic growth driver for the Volkswagen Group”, Heizmann said at the signing ceremony. “Together with our Chinese partners we plan to double our production capacity to three million vehicles by 2013/14.”


“With more than 950,000 vehicles delivered in the first half of 2010, Volkswagen Group China has exceeded deliveries in the record year of 2009 by 45.7 percent”, Vahland added. “This strong performance further confirms the success of our young and efficient model range. The new plant in Yizheng makes sure we will be able to meet growing demand from our Chinese customers in future, too.”


GM Offloads Nexteer to a Chinese Buyer

Beijing money is behind deal and a controversial contract.

by on Jul.08, 2010

Exporting more U.S. jobs?

General Motors has found a buyer for GM Global Steering Holdings, LLC, commonly known as Nexteer, its steering gear maker to a Chinese industrial group.

Nexteer’s proposed new owner is Pacific Century Motors, an entity formed by The Tempo Group and an affiliate of the Beijing Municipal Government.

PCM will acquire all of Nexteer’s operations, which has 6,200 employees in global steering and half-shaft operations, including 22 manufacturing facilities, six engineering facilities and 14 customer support centers located in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Following the Export of U.S. Jobs!

Terms of the sale, which is expected to close by the end of the year, were not disclosed.


Saab Sells Old Tooling to Chinese

BAIC buys Saab 9-3, 9-5 and powertrain technology.

by on Dec.14, 2009

The deal doesn't include the rights to the Saab name.

The Beijing Auto deal doesn't include the rights to the Saab brand or model names.

Saab Automobile AB announced today that it had closed on the sale to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd (BAIC) some Saab 9-3 technology, the older 9-5 production tooling and some powertrain technology.

Saab will assist BAIC in integrating these unnamed technologies into future BAIC vehicles.

Financial details of the sale were not released.

The older production tooling used for the 9-5 sedan will move to BAIC, where it will produce the cars as BAIC models. The agreement does not include any rights to the Saab brand name, or the model names. BAIC currently produce trucks under its own brand name.



Saab 9-3 and the new replacement 9-5 model, which is not yet on sale, remain in production in Trollhättan, Sweden.


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