The first batch of Volvo S90L sedans is on its way to the United States. Four hundred cars were loaded into a ship in the port city of Tianjin, they will arrive at Volvo dealers in the United States in June. The China-made Volvo S90L will replace the Sweden-made Volvo S90 in the U.S., where it will be marketed as the 2018 Volvo S90, without an L at the end.
The new Volkswagen T-Roc has been spied in old Europe without much camouflage on. The T-Roc will have its intentional debut in August with deliveries set to start in mid 2018. Production in China will start the same year at the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture.
NextEV NIO has teamed up with Changan Auto for the production of electric cars for the Chinese market. Their first car will debut in concept form on the Shanghai Auto Show. The SUV, likely to be called NIO ES8, will be about the size of the Volvo XC90. NIO has released one rendering, showing a rather traditional design.
This is the China-spec FordF-150 Raptor. I met this fine avalanche white supercrew example at a Ford dealer in the great city of Jinan in Shandong Province. It had just arrived, fresh from the boat, still with its plastic protective covers on the alloys. The F-150 will be officially marketed in China for the very first time. Sales are set to start on March 8 and price will start at 560.000 yuan or $81.450. There are a notable differences between the U.S. spec and the China-spec car. Here they are:
The new Aston Martin DB11 V8 will have its worldwide debut on March 19 on the Shanghai Auto Show in China. It will be powered by an AMG sourced 4.0 (3.982) liter twin-turbo V8 with 532 horses. This engine is based on the unit that powers the Mercedes-AMG GT S. Price in China is expected to start around 2.75 million yuan or $400.000. Price of the DB11 V12 starts at 3.25 million yuan or $470.000.
The debut in China makes sense; the Chinese market is the second-largest market worldwide for Aston Martin, and they want much more out of it. An SUV is finally on its way and the upcoming Lagonda ultra-luxury brand is mainly aimed at China. The DB11 V8 is also attractive financially. The size of the engine is just under four liter so the DB11 V8 stays out of the highest tax bracket, and that means Aston Martin can make a lot of money on it if they manage to keep the price up, and looking at the expected 2.75 million yuan price tag they are trying just that.
Chery has filed a complaint against Mercedes-Benz at the ‘International Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce’. The reason: in 2016 Mercedes-Benz applied for a Chinese trademark for their new EQ sub-brand of electric vehicles. The problem: Chery has been selling EVs under their eQ sub-brand since 2014. Chery applied for a trademark in 2014 and it was granted in 2015. The application of Mercedes-Benz is pending. The company hopes to launch its EQ brand in China in 2018.
The ultrahip Toyota C-HR will see production in China, times two. Toyota has two joint ventures in the country and each wants a part of the C-HR action. First up FAW-Toyota which will basically make the car as it is known abroad and under the C-HR name.
Skoda is going to launch four new SUVs in China. They have to because the SUV and crossover segments are booming like there is no tomorrow and Skoda currently has only the aging Yeti on offer. That is going to change with the Kodiaq, the Model K, the Model Q, and the Kodiaq Coupe. All will be manufactured locally at the Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture.
The production version of the Citroen Aircross will debut on next month’s Shanghai Auto Show, and it will be launched on the Chinese car market in Q3. The Aircross will initially only sell in China but export or production elsewhere hasn’t been ruled out. The production car will retain the rugged looks of the concept car.