A J.D. Power Perspective on Ford’s Dramatic Sales Climb in China

Tim Dunne

Tim Dunne

Although Ford is somewhat of a late bloomer in the China auto market, the Detroit-based automaker is set to outpace major Japanese competitors such as Toyota and Honda Groups in passenger-vehicle sales in the China market this year, according to media reports. The major U.S. automaker still is behind General Motors and Volkswagen Group auto sales in the China market.

A Ford official told Reuters that it is possible the company will sell more than 900,000 units in 2013—including both passenger cars and commercial vehicles—in the world’s largest auto market, mainly due to a stronger product lineup. Small SUVs, including the Ford EcoSport and Kuga, have sold well and a redesigned Focus has been on sale since last year. 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 ›

Record Smog Levels Cause China to Incentivize EVs; Consumers Not Convinced

Lorraine Wang-Resized DSC0225

Lorraine Wang

Smog in China hit record levels in the past month. Dubbed the “airpocalypse” by local media, smog levels are becoming a major health and economic problem for the country. On a recent day, pollution levels in some of China’s largest urban areas were 30 times higher than levels considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to media reports.

Local governments in Shanghai and Beijing are moving forward to mandate electric vehicles (EVs) for government fleet vehicles and for taxis, according to a recent blog post in The Wall Street Journal. More government initiatives and incentives are being considered as China takes baby steps to transition from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) to more electric vehicles (EVs).

In the Journal post, China expert Michael Dunne said that Beijing already offers free license plates and a $19,000 rebate to private EV buyers. In the last week of February the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that Shanghai traffic police have been given nasal filters in a pilot program to help them withstand the city’s smog. Continue reading ›

China Auto Sector is Shadowed by Urban Gridlock

Guangzhou, the third-largest city in China, has decided to emulate Beijing and Shanghai in clamping down on the number of cars on the road. Once known as Canton, this city has experienced rapid economic growth because it is near Hong Kong. Deciding to emulate Beijing, which is the second-largest city and capital of China (PRC), and Shanghai, the largest in population size, by clamping down on the number of cars on the road, may hurt the Chinese domestic automotive industry, even if in the short term it brings a purchasing frenzy.

Only two days after the measure was introduced, the market value of the two listed companies in the area, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, fell by nearly 16 billion Yuan ($2.5 billion, 2 billion euros). While these figures leave little doubt about how big a hit the automotive industry will take, the question is whether a simple step such as restricting licenses can really solve congestion problems in big cities. Continue reading ›

A Foreign Businessman’s Observations from China

Geoff Broderick

What’s the first thing most first-time visitors notice when de-planing through the gates at Shanghai’s Pudong airport, or Beijing’s Capital airport? It’s the size of the place. Everything is big, even by American standards: big halls, big seating areas, big restaurants, long queues and people everywhere.

What’s the second thing a foreigner notices upon arrival? There is so much coming-and-going—with people moving in all directions (their shoes loudly clacking against the ground), groups of people gathered together engaged in shrill conversation, and the constant call of the airport’s public address announcer calling out flight update information—everything appears to be occurring in a state of perpetual pandemonium.

But once you become adjusted to the pace and din of China—inside the airport and outside during day-to-day living—the pandemonium becomes much easier to understand and digest. It is chaotic, to be sure, but it is an organized chaos, with its own unique Chinese ebbs and flows. Continue reading ›