The first Chinese car that you buy may actually be American. California startup automaker Coda Automotive began production of its all-electric sedan on Monday at a facility in Benicia, outside of San Francisco. The battery-powered four-door is assembled from a glider” — basically a complete car without a drivetrain — that’s built by Coda in China under license from local automaker ChangAn Hafei.
In February 2012, Toyota and its two local joint venture partners managed to sell in China about 66,800 vehicles, up 51.3%.
In January and February the sales totaled about 125,500 units, up 1.5% from last year. Although sales were quite weak in January, the Lunar New Year holiday from the end of the month brought a surge in the February sales. In January this year the company sold about 58,700 units, down 26.2% compared to the same period last year.
British off-road icon Land Rover plans to join the ranks of global automakers making vehicles in China by partnering with Chery Automobile Co Ltd in a joint venture. Local media reports said the partnership will be based in the Changshu Economic and Technological Development Area in Jiangsu province.
Both sides have reached agreement on the new venture and are now awaiting approval from the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, sources familiar with the issue told reporters.
General Motors will recall 18.204 imported vehicles in China because of problems with the cars’ anti-lock braking systems, China’s quality control agency said in a statement dated Wednesday.
The immediate recall applies to 16.618 Chevrolet Captiva sport utility vehicles and 1586 Opel Antara sport utility vehicles built between April 11, 2006 and Nov. 9, 2009, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said on its website.
German carmaker BMW says it has seen record profit margins in its core car business for 2011. Its profits jumped by 51% last year to 4.9bn euros ($6.43bn; £4.1bn) compared with 3.24bn euros from the year before. Sales rose 14% to 68.82bn euros. Boss Norbert Reithofer said BMW’s new records in “sales, revenue and profit” had “more than reached our goals”.
February car sales in China rose 26.5 percent from a year earlier, rebounding strongly from a slump in the previous month as automakers and dealerships resumed normal operations after the lunar new year holidays.
However, sales in the first two months still slipped 4.4 percent from the year-ago-level, reflecting the impact of the holidays that sometimes fall in January and sometimes in February. Industry observers typically look at the two-month combined figure to gauge the state of the industry.
China’s vehicle sales weakened further in the first two months of this year as the economy slowed and higher fuel prices deterred some buyers. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Friday that car sales in January-February fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier to 2.37 million vehicles. Total sales, including trucks and buses, dropped 6 percent to 2.95 million vehicles.
Some 1.21 million passenger cars were sold in February, up 26.5 percent from a year earlier. Total vehicle sales rose 24.5 percent year-on-year to 1.57 million vehicles.
Geely Automobile Holdings said its parent and Volvo Car had signed a technology transfer deal allowing the Chinese maker of low-cost cars to enrich its product portfolio and make it more competitive in its home market. “It will support us in realising the aspirations to make China our second home market,” Stefan Jacoby, president and chief executive of Volvo, said on Friday.
Under the agreement, Zhejiang Geely will leverage its full access to technology authorized by the Swedish carmaker to develop a new premium brand for the Chinese market, said Yang Xueliang, a spokesperson for Geely’s parent company.
Ford said Wednesday its sales in China totaled 40,978 vehicles in February, up 28% on year and bolstered by strong demand for its Mondeo sedan and Transit transporter van. Ford sold 27,616 Ford-branded vehicles in February, an increase of 21%, it said in a statement.
CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer told Chinese journalists at the Geneva Auto Show that Bentley is developing a stretched Mulsanne for the Chinese car market. He also said that Bentley is planning to start production of the EXP 9F SUV in 2015, the SUV is primarily developed for Asian markets. China is currently Bentley’s number two market worldwide after the US, Bentley expects China to take the number one spot in 2013.