24-year-old Ma Qinghua joins HRT’s Formula One driver-development program. Ma, a Shanghai native, signed with the team on Thursday. He’s considered the best hope to become China’s first F1 driver, following in the wake of several who signed contracts but failed to make the circuit.
French automaker Renault has reportedly signed a preliminary agreement to produce cars in China with domestic partner Dongfeng. Sources close to the arrangement say it marks “the end of an initial step” ahead of a deal which would provide Renault with its first factory in the world’s biggest car market, AFP reports.
Renault has declined to comment on the information but last year said it would begin to build cars in China after 2014.
Sales in China by Volkswagen and its joint ventures rose 15.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, due to strong demand for its Audi and Volkswagen brands. Sales in China, Hong Kong and Macau by Volkswagen Group China and its joint ventures totaled 633,800 cars in the first three months of the year, Volkswagen said in a statement Friday. Volkswagen-brand car sales rose 12.5% to 483.400 vehicles.
Ford’s sales in China fell almost 16% in the first quarter from a year ago, but its partnership in Russia reaped a 30% sales increase for the same period. Both are growing markets where Ford is investing to build more vehicles. China is the biggest global market, but the new car market has slowed after a decade of double-digit annual growth.
Sales of new commercial and passenger vehicles in China shrank in the first quarter as slowing economic growth chipped away at demand, adding to concerns about the full-year sales outlook in the world’s largest auto market.
In the first quarter, total vehicle sales in China fell 3.4% from a year earlier to 4.79 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Wednesday. Sales of passenger cars fell 1.3% to 3.77 million vehicles.
General Motors Co. will begin to build Cadillacs in China within a year as the automaker works to establish the luxury Cadillac brand globally, according to Joel Ewanick, GM’s global marketing officer. GM is expected to announce April 22 during the Beijing auto show that it will begin to build its all-new large Cadillac sedan, the XTS, later this year in China, according to another source familiar with the company’s plan.
Skoda Auto, a Czech brand German auto giant Volkswagen, said on Thursday that first-quarter sales rose by 11.8 percent from the level at the same time last year to a record of 242,700 cars, with a boost from China and India.
The car maker said in a statement it had set another all-time high in March when it raised monthly sales by 12.1 percent on a 12-month basis to a record 95,200 units.
Citroen wants to expand aggressively on the China car market, and they want to do so with the DS-range. The attack starts with the DS5 which will be listed as an import on the Chinese car market sometime around the middle of this year. Second car to come is the DS3 and third the DS4, both will be listed as imports near the end of this year. Read more »
General Motors will recall 6,365 imported Buick Enclave cars due to their weak windshield wipers, China’s top quality watchdog said on Monday. The cars in question were produced between Jan. 17, 2010 and March 5, 2012, according to a statement released by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
Due to high demand on the Chinese market, the next-generations Volkswagen Phaeton will debut sometime in 2015. On the market for 10 years, the Phaeton largely missed sales targets year after year, prompting the model to be cancelled in the U.S. after 2006. However the Phaeton has enjoyed a 50 percent increase in deliveries in China in the past year.