Another major setback for Tesla in China: the Tesla Model S comes without satellite navigation, even though Tesla’s Chinese website indicates otherwise. The Tesla satnav only works with Google Maps and Google Maps is permanently blocked in China.
Ford will finally sell the Mustang in China. Exports will start next year. The Ford Mustang is mighty popular in China but only available via the gray dealer-to-dealer market. The official Ford Mustang is scheduled for launch on the Chinese auto market in the first quarter of 2015.
Audi has achieved new record sales figures in the Chinese car market in the first half of 2014, selling a grand total of 268.666 automobiles. That is an increase of 17.8 percent year on year, making Audi the largest premium car maker in China yet again.
Sales of U.S automakers Ford and General Motors in China are up again, big time. Ford’s China sales rose 35% to 549,256 vehicles this year through June, as the automaker dramatically increases its presence in the world’s largest auto market. GM’s China sales rose 10.5% to 1.7 million vehicles, more than the 1.46 million it sold in the U.S. during the same period.
Tesla has only one store in China, in the capital Beijing. The company is very secretive about its expansion plans. Until now we only knew Tesla was planning new stores in Shanghai and in Hangzhou.
Happily, Tesla’s Linkedin job pages reveal a bit more. Tesla is also looking for staff to operate new stores in: Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, Shenzhen in Guangdong Province and Chengdu in Sichuan Province. That makes five new stores and a total of six. It appears Tesla is looking to hire right now, so it can’t be very long before the first new stores open their doors.
Tesla is developing a long-wheelbase variant of the Tesla Model S for the Chinese car market. Long-wheelbase cars are popular in China as many wealthy car buyers like to be chauffeured around town. All competitors are selling China-only stretched variants of their mid-sized sedans and the German Three only offer the long-wheelbase variants of the A8, 7-Series, and S-Class.
Tesla thus, has to make a move. The wheelbase of the base Model S is 2959 mm and the stretched variant will measure at least 100 mm more. When the ‘S-L’ will hit the Chinese auto market is yet unsure but it won’t be before mid-2015.
Tesla launched in China in January but the Model S is currently only available in Beijing and Shanghai. Price ranges from 648.000 to 852.500 yuan or 104.000 to 140.000 USD.
Yesterday I went to a Tesla Service Station in Beijing for an inspection tour. I came uninvited and anonymous. It is the only service station in Beijing and only the second service station in the whole of China, the other one is in Shanghai. The station is located in a large two-story building on a large car-dealer area near the Golden Port race track in north east Beijing, a rather far away place without much action going on.
Lincoln will launch five new cars in China by 2016, showing Ford’s luxury brand is finally getting serious about attacking the largest car market in the world. First up is the Lincoln MKC SUV. It will be imported into China with a launch on the Chinese auto market scheduled for Q4.
Years ago, and ever since, Western prognosticators said the Chinese car market was in bubble-territory, and ready to roll over. Last month, as in the months and years before, the market ignored the negative vibes, and powered on. According to data released by China’s manufacturers’ association CAAM, sales in May were up 8.5 percent year-on-year to 1,911,200 units across all segments. For the first five months of the year, sales were up 9 percent to 9,838,100 units. The CAAM is targeting an increase of 10 percent for this year (which would bring sales to over 24 million), and the market is making valiant attempts to comply. Read more »
The new Chinese Chevrolet Cruze will be launched on the Chinese car market in July, it debuted in April on the 2014 Beijing Auto Show. The Chevrolet Cruze is manufactured in China by the Shanghai-GM joint venture. Price will start around 120.000 yuan and end around 160.000 yuan.