Tesla Plans to Enter China Luxury Car Market Later this Year

Tim Dunne

Tesla is building its first electric car store in Beijing, China, in spite of two major challenges: a very limited charging infrastructure and intense competition in the luxury segment from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

The new Tesla “lifestyle store,” which is slated to open later this year, is located in an exclusive . . . Continue Reading Tesla Plans to Enter China Luxury Car Market Later this Year

Chinese and U.S. EV Makers Face Good News and Challenges

EVSymbolIn recent months, several China-based electric vehicle makers have been making headlines with announcements of new EV contracts in the U.S. market, while several U.S. EV makers, based in California, have been facing new challenges.

Additionally, in May, Tesla Motors made an offer to raise capital and also paid off its government loan, while Fisker Automotive may have another chance to survive with news of a possible purchase bid from several suitors.

Meanwhile, Chinese vehicle maker BYD Automotive Co., which boasts Warren Buffet as a major investor, recently signed a contract in the United States with the city of Long Beach in California to build 10 electric buses at a former RV facility in nearby Lancaster, CA. This arrangement allows BYD (Build Your Dreams) to take advantage of buy-American subsidies for electric vehicles and public transportation. BYD reportedly has made 1,000 electric buses, most of which operate in China, and has completed a pilot program with Hertz, according to the company. Continue reading ›

First-Quarter Passenger-Vehicle Sales in China—Better than Expected

China-02China’s passenger-vehicle sales ended the first quarter with a double-digit gain from the same quarter a year ago, mainly due to new product launches, increases in luxury or premium brand sales, in addition to dealer incentives, based on analysis and data from J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive.

A 14% gain in passenger-vehicle sales to 1.43 million units during March bolstered first-quarter totals. First-quarter light-vehicle sales in China rose by 15% from the same period in 2012 to 5.44 million units.

SUVs and Luxury Cars Create Enthusiasm in China Market

The best-performing segment in China during the quarter was the SUV segment, which saw sales surge by 43% from the same quarter in 2012. New product launches added momentum to demand in this category. Continue reading ›

Battery Capacity is Only One Hurdle in Promoting EVs in China

In 2009, four of China’s ministries launched collaborative energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle (NEV) promotion programs, identifying 25 pilot cities to participate in the programs. The cities included Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Shezhen.

China-02A year later, in May of 2010, the four Ministries* issued a subsidy policy for private alternative energy vehicles. This subsidy is based on battery capacity at a rate of RMB 3,000 RMB (US $484) per kWh. Buyers of plug‐in hybrid cars will receive up to RMB 50,000 (US $8,070.50) in subsidies, and as much as RMB 60,000 (US$9,6840.60 will be given to buyers of pure electric vehicles.

The pilot cities also launched their own “new energy” development plans to provide further local incentives based on the subsidies of the four ministries in order to reach a target of 53,000 NEV sales before the end of 2012. Continue reading ›

Automakers Change Their Strategy in China Market

Marvin Zhu, a senior analyst with LMC Automotive, who writes for China Automotive Monthly published by J.D. Power Asia Pacific, offers insight about the changing strategies of automakers in China.

Automakers in China are changing their way of thinking in a market that is diversifying. Foreign brands are starting a new campaign to expand capacity.Volkswagen Group is going to set up new plants in Ningbo and Xinjiang, while Nissan Motor Co. will add a Dalian plant for Infiniti. General Motors, Ford, PSA, Hyundai, Honda, BMW and Toyota Groups are all going to have new plants ready for vehicle production in 2012. As these companies’ performance in other markets is expected to be less than robust, the booming Chinese market is much more of a sure bet. Continue reading ›

Innovation: Critical to Development of China’s Auto Industry

 

Marvin Zhu

After two years of strong growth, the car market in China has begun to slow. Chinese brands, which have grown considerably over the past few years, seem to have lostmomentum faster than their joint-venture counterparts. According to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 China New Vehicle Intender Study,SM the purchase intent toward local brands has fallen from 26% in 2009 to just 20% this year.

Although the local OEMs have continued launching new products, more and more car buyers are voting with their feet, as they find most of those “new models” are facelifts or copies of other popular models. Meanwhile, the joint ventures are offering cars of similar size at increasingly competitive prices. Continue reading ›

General Motors Models Still Enjoy High Consideration in China

Tim Dunne

The models with highest consideration rates in each of nine segments among consumers in China who intend to purchase a new vehicle within the next 12 months include three General Motors brand models and three German brand models, according to the  J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 China New-Vehicle Intender Study.SM

One of the reasons for high consideration for GM and its brands’ models is that the US automaker has had a presence in China for a long time (in China auto years). In fact, GM announced their joint venture (JV) with SAIC in 1997, and began selling cars in China in 1998 or 1999. Buick and Chevrolet are well-known brands. GM is also well known because it is a big company. Big is a good characteristic in China—and bigger is always better. Continue reading ›