Strategic observation

Economic Watch: Global automakers cash in on China's NEV boom

2018-07-23 19:04:49 (Beijing Time)


CHANGCHUN, July 23 (Xinhua) -- New energy vehicles (NEV) from automakers worldwide drew lots of admiring glances at the 15th China Changchun International Automobile Fair that ended on Sunday.

A total of 148 NEVs were on display, including new models by joint ventures and domestic manufacturers.

"New energy vehicles save money and energy. With the oil price close to 7.5 yuan per litre (1.1 U.S. dollars), this kind of car only costs 0.07 or 0.08 yuan per kilometer on the road," said Xu Jie, a salesman.

"Drivers don't have to pay purchase tax. All you need is insurance plus a license plate," Xu said.

"I want to buy an electric car, of course," said Wei Lijing, a visitor at the expo.

The world's largest NEV market for three years, China has subsidized purchases and parking, prompting advances in batteries, engines and motors, said Dong Yang, executive deputy director of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In the first half of this year, more than 400,000 NEVs were sold, more than double the amount in the same period last year. On July 9, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC Motors) announced it was teaming up with Volkswagen and SEAT to build a research and development center at a cost of around 500 million euros.

BYD has partnered with Loxley Plc. to launch the electrified transportation scheme in Thailand. One hundred electric crossovers were exported from the southern metropolis of Shenzhen to Thailand on July 12, as taxis in Bangkok.

America's Tesla announced earlier this month that it would build its first overseas factory in Shanghai and its first overseas research and development center in Beijing.

On July 10, BMW announced a joint venture, Spotlight Automotive, with Great Wall Motor Company Limited, focusing on new pure electric cars for the international market.

Foreign automakers can inject new vitality into the market and stimulate Chinese enterprises to seek innovations, said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association.

Upgrades and globalization are two foreseeable trends in the NEV market as the government subsidizes vehicles with longer range and greater battery life, and the foreign equity limit for joint ventures is eased, said Sun Zhidong, a Great Wall Securities analyst.