Review Category : Commentary

Neutral on Tesla in China

Tesla’s pricing strategy has just been announced which has seems to  be overly fair for the Chinese market, putting the price on par with the USA but due to import taxes the price gets bumped a little higher than the US. But there remains several hefty road blocks in the way before Tesla can make China a major market.

Firstly, there is a clear lack…

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Stop-start: Rising to the Challenge of China’s New Emissions Standards

Pollution in China earlier this year reached extreme levels, at one point measuring 40 times the recommended safety levels. With more than 13 million cars sold in China in 2012, vehicles remain a major source of the dangerous pollution levels causing the “airpocalypse” in big cities like Beijing. In response to growing public outrage, the Chinese…

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Haval H8 – Great Wall’s 200,000RMB Folly

Great Wall are on the verge of launching their 200,000RMB SUV, the much talked about H8. Prices haven’t yet been officially announced but Great Wall executives have indicated via Chinese media that the new H8 SUV will be priced at around 200,000RMB or $32,000USD when its launched later this year.

The full size SUV was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto…

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Who is Kandi Technologies Group (KNDI)?

On June 5 (June 4 in the USA) a Chinese vehicle manufacturer named Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. which is listed on Nasdaq (KNDI) issued a press release announcing that their first pure electric sedan jointly developed by Kandi and Geely had received Chinese government approval and purchasers would be eligible to receive government EV subsidies. Within…

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Brands to Watch: Ford in China

Over the past few weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that my current Nissan SUV is coming to the end of its life under my ownership, I bought it new in 2008 and now it’s 2013, its time to say goodbye. It has been a fairly faithful companion over the past few years, taking me and bikes up mountains being used as a shuttle vehicle by a variety of different…

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CCT’s Scottish Safari Part 1 MG’s Northern Exposure

Was it really as long ago as September 2008, when MG Motor UK invited us to join them on “A New Journey”, with the launch of the TF LE500?

Four and a half years of global turmoil later, MG are still selling cars in the UK, and in January reported annual registrations for 2012 of just over two cars per day.  To British motor industry…

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Qoros’s – The Difficult Sell

Qoros launches in the next few months at the Geneva Motor Show, for those that are not in the know, Qoros is the latest and greatest automotive brand. Qoros is a joint venture between Chery and Israeli Corp, the plan is to create a Chinese brand capable of taking over the world. On one hand you have Israeli venture capital and on the other hand you…

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On the Orange Light Issue.

China has a traffic problem, the ongoing love affair with the automobile has turned into a binge consumption spree that has obviously spilled out onto the roads. In previous years red lights were seen as ‘sort of optional’ when it came to stopping to allow other cars passed, especially if there weren’t any cameras overhead monitoring…

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Five Chinese Brands Worth Watching in 2013

Following on from the Five Foreign Brands article, we also need to take a look at Chinese brands that look set to excel in 2013. Chinese manufacturers have undergone a spiritual awakening in the past four years, many have realized that they cannot rely on the Chinese market if they are going to become automotive giants, at worse they will be snapped…

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Five Foreign Auto Brands Worth Watching in 2013

Foreign auto brands have had their run of the Chinese market since they first came in 1984, the popularity of foreign autos has sky rocketed over the past few years with Chinese brands struggling to maintain their market share. Although foreign brands own the lions share of the market, some brands have only just entered or are going through a period…

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Cadillac’s Design Is Not The Issue, Its the Cadillac Package That’s All Wrong

Cadillac is far from catching up the likes of Audi and BMW in the Chinese market, but they might grow their current market share in the next few years if they play their cards right. According to a Reuters report filed yesterday, Cadillac just isn’t cool with Chinese consumers due to the use of sharp angular designs on show which goes against Chinese…

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Blackout for E-Mobility in China – a status review

With meaty statements the Chinese government in 2010 aimed for the leading position in electric mobility. Today one might ask oneself what happened to the grandiose plans of leap-frogging the worlds carmakers and having over half a million battery electric cars on China’s streets by 2012.

China’s streets today, just as all around the…

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On China, and the World.

This piece was written by long term China Car Times commentator August Schwartz who has been following the Chinese auto industry closely and from affair for the past decade.

The last week or so I have had a burning desire to do something I have not done in a very long time. It has been nearly five years since I wrote my last piece on Lifan,…

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Super-B, Besturn, Skin and Face, Automotive Naming Disasters in China, and Elsewhere.

Names for automobiles are very subjective, what sounds great in one particular language may mean something rather different, or even rude, in another. Take for example the Mitsubishi Pajero, Pajero sounds great in English and Anglo-Saxon countries loved the foreign sounding name of Mitsubishi’s flagship SUV. Over in Spanish speaking countries and some…

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China Daily Asks: Will China get over its speed bump? The Answer is of course: Welcome to the Real World

The China Daily asked a charged question earlier this week when it asked if the Chinese Auto Market would get over the Speed Bump of slow sales:

A slowing economy and the exit of stimulus policies have put brakes on China’s auto industry, sending auto sales to a historical low after explosive expansion.

However, industry analysts believe…

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Why the Beijing Auto Show is Probably the Worst in the Chinese Automotive Calendar

Beijing wasn’t always the capital of China, it jumped from city to city with the changing of dynasty or during war times, at different points in history the capital has moved around from Xi’an to Peiping (modern day Beijing) to Nanjing to Chongqing and beyond, the word ‘jing’ usually means capital, Bei means…

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Chinese Economists Questioning Recent Gas Price Rise

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) sets the price on Chinese gasoline prices at the pump which gives the People’s people something to complain about every 3 or 4 months when pricing inevitably goes north of what they are currently paying. With gas prices at the forecourt breaching the 8rmb barrier for the first time Chinese drivers…

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Government purchasing – It is time for local brands

Hongqi (Red Flag) is being revived slowly buy surely, Shanghai is reviving, Beijing is Reviving. The old famous Chinese car brands which disappeared for many years are reviving at the same time, of course they are not being brought back for nostalgic purposes, they are being brought back to satisfy a government demand for anything that isn’t German….

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Year-end bonus: Jealousy, Envy and Hate

With the end of the Chinese work year approaching, the year-end bonus is undoubtedly a great concern in all industries. Recently, a rumor circulating on the internet stated that FAW-Volkswagen will issue 27 months of salary as bonus, causing much tittle-tattle within various circles

A reporter at FAW-Volkswagen confirmed the news this morning that…

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State Owned Manufacturers Are The Problem

This article by Auto News China’s Yang Jian brings quite the argument to the privatization of China’s biggest state owned manufacturers, he correctly asserts that the companies biggest weakness is the fact that they are state owned either at the local or provincial level…

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10 ministries gathering to discuss New Standards for School Buses

January 5, 2012, led by the National Development and Reform Commission, 10 ministries including Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other 10 major domestic passenger car manufacturers gathered in Beijing to discuss the new standard for school buses and made suggestion.

“The new standard for school buses” has caused widespread controversy….

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2011 in Review – the good, the bad, and the forthcoming

This week is statistics week, luxury auto manufacturers totted up their 2011 China sales last week as their volumes were much smaller and they were largely without joint venture partners numbers were obviously easier to crunch, this week joint venture companies and local companies alike will be rolling out their statistics, tomorrow the official yearly…

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JLR: no time to hesitate

When Jaguar Land Rover and Chery joint venture submitted an application to the National Development and Reform Commision earlier this year, informed sources were able to reveal to reporters that Chery and JLR are going to build a luxury car based on the Jaguar platform and possibly put the Chery, or the Jaguar logo on the front end.

According to…

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Seat’s China goal is relatively easy

Seat’s sales for China in 2012 has been set at 4,000 units, this is not exactly an ambitious goal for SEAT in their starting year. China is the largest car market in the world, and some models are claiming sales of 4000 units per week so obviously there is plenty of scope for Seat to enter China.

Seat’s Leon formula racing, Leon Cupra, and Ibiza…

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Chinese Automobile Companies go West

Considerable attention has been paid to the Chinese automotive world, as the worlds biggest and at the same time fastest growing market, being a topic in newspapers all around the world. However, recent export attempts to Western countries as well as high-profile international acquisitions and take-over attempts by Chinese automobile players have shifted…

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Why, despite the sales down turn, BYD is back on top form

Not long ago I wrote an article for China Car Times on how I believed that after a few missteps, BYD would ultimately prevail. We now have partial confirmation that I was on to something. It has been reported that BYD’s Q3 profits are up an astonishing 582% with the Q4 outlook even more positive. Granted, BYD’s profits are still down for the year,…

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Could trouble just be around the corner for Audi China?

Audi has had a comfortable lead over its closest competitors for the past few years, but are they losing their comfortable edge over their competitors? Audi entered the Chinese market relatively early when compared to other Western manufacturers, and considerably earlier than its Germanic rivals at BMW and Mercedes, Audi signed with FAW in 1988, BMW…

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JLR to build cars with Chery – or maybe not

JLR themselves mentioned a while ago that they were looking to produce cars locally in the Chinese market to combat their Germanic luxury rivals, of course this fired up the rumor mill with many people pointing to local manufacturers…

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Caution on low-speed electric cars

Many Chinese automotive specialists are smiling from ear to ear these days, because many German brands introduced their electric city cars on Frankfurt Auto Show early last month, which are similar to their ideal low-speed electric car.

Audi Urban, Volkswagen NILS and Opel RAK e are two-seater or one-seater city cars with smaller batteries and motors….

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