Don’t even think it: No, China is not caving in to Tesla

Customs checkpoint at the Xiamen Free Trade Zone. Picture courtesy brics2017.org

When you read this, you probably have heard that China is doing away with its requirement that foreign automakers need a 50:50 Chinese partner before they can make automobiles in the Middle Kingdom, the only legal way to avoid the country’s egregious 25% import tax. You will also have heard that this will open the gates to Tesla’s ultimate domination of the world’s largest car market, and especially of the world’s largest electric car market. If you haven’t heard, you certainly will.

There is only one problem: It is not true. Car companies indeed will be able to build EVs on Chinese soil, and on their own, but they won’t get around the tax, and therefore won’t be competitive with indigenous products. [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, Episode 3: Electric sports cars, electric Trucks

Welcome to Episode 3 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. Today with electric sports cars, trendy electric minis, and big electric trucks. Yes, trucks. Been there, done that.

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Tesla fans: Study Ford’s China joint venture very carefully

Send in the clones: Zotye’s Macan left, Porsche’s Macan right – Pictures Carnewschina.com

Hopping on the Chinese EV bandwagon, and trying to comply with looming tough EV mandates in China, U.S. carmaker Ford has signed a joint venture agreement with Zotye Auto to make low-cost electric cars in China. Investors in Californian carmaker Tesla should closely study this agreement.

The jointly produced cars won’t be sold as Ford cars, but under “a new brand,” Ford group vice president Peter Fleet told Reuters. Why would Ford give up the strong brand cachet it has, and embark on the long, arduous, and expensive schlep to build a new brand nobody has ever heard of? Simple answer: [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, episode 2: Blue is the new green in red China

China NEV Weekly

Welcome to Episode 2 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. While Tesla fans may have to wait years for their Model 3, there rarely is a week without new EVs, cranked-out by bustling Chinese OEMs. This week in CNW: NextEV goes downmarket, an (oh, dear) electric coffee car, EVs for less than the (possibly expiring) federal tax credit, and blue is the new green, also in red China.

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China NEV Weekly, episode 1: EVs with Chinese characteristics

Welcome to the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. NEV is an official government classification that includes three kinds of vehicles: EVs, PHEV, and hydrogen cars.

NEVs are subsidized by the central and local government to a maximum of about 90,000 yuan ( $13,570). On top of that, many cities offer extra perks including free license plates and free parking lots.

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DailyKanban Behind The Great Firewall of China

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DailyKanban’s Bertel Schmitt is headed to Beijing for the auto show, and will not be posting daily news briefs for the next few days while stuck behind the Great Firewall. While he is away gathering the latest news from the world’s largest car market, you can stay up to date on the latest by following E.W. Niedermeyer on Twitter.

Ghosn Hints At Very Low Cost EVs: “People Want Them To Be Cheap.”

Ghosn in Wuhan - Picture courtesy Forbes

The western world may be fascinated by electrified luxury cars carrying the marques of Tesla, BMW, Audi and a number of exotic upstarts, but the true EV revolution seems to be finally happening in the developing markets of Asia, where zero emission vehicles are needed the most. French automaker Renault SA wants to be part of the real EV revolution, if reports in UK media are correct.

At the inauguration of Renault’s new Chinese plant, built together with joint venture partner Dongfeng in Wuhan, a city in China’s central Hubei province, Renault’s CEO Carlos Ghosn hinted at a future line of “cheap and frugal” electric vehicles targeted at the Chinese market in big numbers.

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How Volkswagen Really Blew It: The Lost Low-Cost Roots

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The first installment of the “How Volkswagen Really Blew It” mini-series was a dissection of the convenient myth that dieselgate prevented Volkswagen from finally becoming world’s largest automaker. As the center of its “Strategy 2018,” Volkswagen had targeted that title since 2009, and in the first part of 2015, it looked as good as won. Six months later, the strategy has been scrapped, and VW appears to be farther removed from world domination than ever before.

The true reason for the defeat wasn’t dieselgate, but that Volkswagen dropped the ball in China. This episode will try to connect many dots for a true picture of what happened, and what did not happen, in China, and in Germany.

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