The U.S.-based online taxi-hailing service Uber has signed a deal in China to co-operate a fleet of green-energy taxi ‘limousines’ in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province under the ‘UberGreen’ name. The logistics and drivers will be handled by a local company called ‘Green New Energy Limousine Service’ and the vehicles will be provided by Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile.
Buyers of a Tesla Model S will get a free license plate in the Chinese city of Tianjin, opening the way for more Tesla sales in one of the largest and richest port cities in China, and also the port of entry for all cars arriving from the United States, including Tesla’s.
Taxi drivers in the city of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, went on strike on Sunday May 10, protesting against the activities of the U.S.-based online taxi-hailing service Uber. About two hundred taxis joined the protest. The strike comes only days after Chinese authorities raided Uber’s Chengdu office to conduct an ‘investigation’, but the service wasn’t shut down.
This is the Tuhaojin, China’s first 3D Printed Car, seen here on its debut in the sunny city of Sanya in Hainan Province. We and local media alike are puzzled by the name, Tuhaojin (土豪金), is best translated as ‘Golden Local Tyrant’. Design seems inspired by beach buggy’s, which fits Sanya perfectly well as it is the most popular beach-holiday destination in China.
Chinese media report that Tesla has been included in a special license program for electric cars in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.
In December last year Shenzhen implemented a program to limit the number of new car licenses to 100.000 a year, in a bid to fight pollution and traffic jams. The number is divided by 80.000 licenses for petrol-powered cars and 20.000 licenses for electric cars.
And one for the secretary. A long line of Model S in front of Tesla’s China headquarters.
Reports in Chinese media say Tesla China has a record inventory of 2301 Model S cars. The number is based on a comparison of the 2014 sales number and the 2014 import number: in 2014 Tesla sold 2499 Model S cars in China, but the company imported 4800 cars, leaving a gap of exactly 2301.
It is the first time that the exact 2014 sales number for Tesla in China has been revealed, 2499 accounts for 208.25 cars a month. The numbers have been confirmed by various Tesla employees and ‘insiders’, speaking anonymously to said media.
Who is in and who is out? Main entrance of the Tesla China headquarters in Beijing.
Chinese media report that Tesla Motors will cut one third of its staff in China, counting for 200 full-time jobs. The cuts will mostly effect sales and marketing, but other departments will also see hits, including sales, marketing, public relations, legal, and even technical support. Sales will see a hefty 50% cut, including front-line sales personnel working in stores, after-sales personnel, and sales consultants.
The market for Low-speed Electric Vehicles (LSEV) is booming in China. In 2014 over 300.000 vehicles were sold, in third-tier cities, townships and counties across North China, East China and Central China. LSEV’s are small, sell cheap, and usually come with a tiny motor (example, example).
Shifeng Group, in Shandong province, had the largest sales of more than 60,000 units by November 2014. Hebei Yogomo Special Vehicle Manufacturing Co, in Hebei province, sold more than 50,000 units.
Tesla is struggling in China, lacking stores and superchargers. And now they have something else to worry about: local competition, of some sort.
The above car is the Aoxin Ibis, an impressive full electric full size sedan with a Tesla-like logo on the enormous and enormously shiny grille. The Aoxin Ibis debuted last year on the New Energy Auto Show in Shanghai (NEAS) and will be launched on the Chinese car market in the second half of this year. The girls seem impressed, and that is a good start. There is more: