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Volkswagen’s “low-cost” line coming to China in 2017. Branded how?

May 14, 2014 by Bertel Schmitt

Picture-courtesy-jirirezac.photoshelter.com

Volkswagen’s supervisory board approved plans for a range of low cost models, and they will be launched in 2017 onto the Chinese market, The Nikkei reports from Volkswagen’s shareholder meeting in Hanover, Germany. CEO Martin Winterkorn said the car will be targeted at first-time car buyers. At a rate of around 60 cars per thousand people in China (USA: more than 800), there is no shortage of first-time buyers in the Middle Kingdom. According to the Nikkei, Winterkorn “did not touch on specifics, such as pricing, he hinted a final decision will be soon made.”

Volkswagen has been thinking more or less aloud about a lower priced brand for several years now, so the decision does not come as a big surprise. The Nikkei, along with the better informed parts of the industry, expect Volkswagen “to keep the price under 7,000 euros ($9,643) and to use a different brand name.”

It will be interesting to see what brand name is used, and the choice will indicate how serious the company is about the budget range. Read more »

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Why BMW won’t buy more of Brilliance – at least not now

May 9, 2014 by Bertel Schmitt

10 years - Picture courtesy China Daily

BMW is investing heavily into a raft of new models to dust rival Audi, but it won’t buy more shares in its Chinese joint venture partner Brilliance. This week in Munich, BMW’s CFO Friedrich Eichiner blew off a Bloomberg reporter who asked whether BMW would. “The market is regulated,” Eichinger snapped. “This question is not relevant, it is legally not possible.” Indeed, it is not. If you want to build cars in China, you need a Chinese joint venture partner who must own no less than 50 percent of the shares.

This system was put in place decades ago when China opened its doors to foreign automakers. The idea was that Chinese would learn on the job everything about developing, manufacturing, and selling cars. Once China was developed into an auto giant, one could dispose of the cumbersome laowei.

It just did not work out that way. Read more »

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GM buys back 1% stake in China joint venture

February 18, 2013 by Joey Wang

GM buys back 1% stake in China joint venture

General Motors said it had repurchased a 1 percent stake in its joint venture with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp, which it had sold ahead of its 2009 bankruptcy filing. The move will increase GM’s ownership of Shanghai General Motors Co Ltd back to 50 percent, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Read more »

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Geely and Kandi agree on JV to make electric cars in China

February 6, 2013 by Joey Wang

Geely and Kandi agree on JV to make electric cars in China

Shanghai Maple Guorun, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely, said that it has signed an agreement with Kandi Vehicles to set up a 50-50 joint venture for electric vehicles.

With registered capital of 1 billion yuan ($160 million), the joint venture will engage in the investment, research and development, production, marketing and sales of electric vehicles on the Chinese mainland.

Read more »

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Renault and Dongfeng plan joint venture in China

November 28, 2012 by Joey Wang

Renault and Dongfeng plan joint venture in China

Renault is planning to launch a joint venture to build cars in China with Dongfeng Motor Group, the country’s second-largest automaker, a local newspaper reported.

The two firms plan to invest a combined 6.5 billion yuan ($1.0 billion) in a plant in the central province of Hubei with an initial capacity of 200,000 cars a year, China Business News said, citing unnamed sources at Dongfeng.

Read more »

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Joint venture for JAC and Navistar in China

August 27, 2012 by Joey Wang

JAC Motor Navistar joint venture

A joint venture between Navistar International Corp and China-based truck maker Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co Ltd was launched Thursday in Beijing. The move signals the official start of the companies’ cooperation in China’s market for truck engines.

“Engine production is an area with a considerable amount of profits,” JAC president An Jing told the China Securities Journal. “The best engines can be sold for more than 100,000 yuan ($15,792), while the price of a heavy-duty truck is around 300,000 yuan.”

Read more »

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Chery-Jaguar Land Rover plans to make 130.000 cars in China from 2014

May 18, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Chery JLR joint venture

More details have emerged on the Chery-Jaguar-Land Rover joint venture. Chery and JLR reached an agreement on the joint venture in March and are now waiting for the final approval by the Chinese government. The plans are impressive and include an engine plant which will make engines especially for the Chinese market.

Production will start in 2014. Initial capacity of the car factory will be 130.000 cars annually, by 2020 capacity will reach 250.000 cars. In 2014 the joint venture plans to build 34.000 Range Rover Evoques, 43.000 Range Rover Freelanders and 23.000 Jaguar ‘sedans’, which type or types is yet unclear.

Read more »

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Brilliance-BMW planst to sell 150.000 cars in China this year

April 5, 2012 by Joey Wang

The Brilliance-BMW joint venture plans to sell 150,000 BMW sedans in 2012, up 40% compared to 2011. Brilliance-BMW sold 108,190 BMW sedans in 2011, up 53,5%, outclassing China’s passenger car sales rise of 5.2%.

“I believe sales in China’s luxury car market should rise 15 to 20 percent this year as this segment is still small in China and more consumers are chasing for premium brands,” chairman Wu Xiaoan told reporters at a results briefing. “We will grow faster than the market.”

Read more »

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Fiat to make 170,000 cars a year in China

April 5, 2012 by Joey Wang

Fiat Viaggio

Fiat and Guangzhou Automobile will begin selling the first car made under their joint venture in China in the second half of 2012 at a plant with a capacity to make up to 170,000 units a year, the head of the Italian automaker said Wednesday.

“That will be the first phase,” Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said at the automaker’s annual shareholders assembly in its hometown in northwestern Italy, referring to the number of vehicles to be produced.

Read more »

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Geely hopes to get Approval for Volvo JV in H1

March 23, 2012 by Joey Wang

Volvo China

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, parent of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, hopes to receive government approval for its joint venture with Volvo Car in the first half of 2012 so production can start next year, Vice President Daniel Li said.

“We believe the joint venture will be approved,” Li told reporters on Thursday after Geely Automobile’s results briefing. Li, who is also a board member of Volvo Car, said he hoped sales of China-made Volvo cars could be launched in 2013.

Read more »