G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
China’s Influence on GM, EVs, and Others!
We saw just at the end of 2016 Toyota saying they would build a team to focus on EVs. This being a complete reversal of their pledge in 2013 to focus on Hydrogen as the practical alternative to traditional ICE autos. Toyota will have a long range EV auto out on the market for the 2020 auto year. Being that 2019 is when you're 2020 autos will start selling, this puts Toyota 4 years behind GM's Chevrolet BOLT EV.
What would cause this change to happen? China is what has happened. China started to push the global auto industry by stating that 8 percent of auto sales in 2018 be each vendor has to be EV or plug-in hybrid. 10 percent is the number for 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.
Toyota one would think should be fine with their Prius line of Hybrids until you realize that China has stated all hybrids such as the Prius, Volt and others built outside of China are considered ICE autos. Currently the only Hybrid being built in China that is a legal hybrid is the Cadillac CT6 plugin hybrid. Toyota is planning to start selling a plugin hybrid in China in 2018 as a 2019 model.
So we are seeing that Toyota is being forced to get over their EV allergy and come up with a real plan to have a global EV on the market in 2019 as a 2020 model year. Daimler has a large EV roll out planned for the global market by 2021. VW has stated they will have multiple EVs rolled out around 2019 through 2021. So has BMW, Audi, etc.
So where does that leave GM? What is GMs strategy now that China is flexing their muscle and setting some big standards for an auto company to play in their backyard?
We have the Cadillac CT6 plugin hybrid. Chevrolet BOLT EV able to be exported to China. GM announced that they will start building a China market Chevrolet Volt as they start to push the Chevrolet brand in China next year. GM has also announced a Buick Velite 5 Hybrid for the Chinese market starting at 265,800 yuan or about $38,600 US. This will have a 72 mile pure electric mode before the generator kicks in giving it a 480 mile range. EVs in China are exempt from sales tax and license plate quotas.
According to Fox Business news, Buick sold 1 million autos in China for calendar year 2016 rising to the number two auto brand sold behind Volkswagen. They also go onto say that Chevrolet has been selling legacy models only up till now and GM has announced 20 new models for China by 2020 the first being a China version of the Chevrolet Equinox. GM says China is demanding the same models they have in the US and as such, China and the US will be more aligned to have identical models. GMs China business is stated to have produced $2 billion in income last year. China clearly helping GM to sell 10 million cars in 2016 globally.
How important is the China Market to GM? In the Month of January Cadillac sold 10,298 autos in the US. Cadillac sold 18,000 in China for the month of January. Clearly China will continue to take on a bigger and bigger role in GM’s ongoing growth.
So where does that leave GM in regards to EVs, auto production, etc.? Reuters points to a story they did back in January 2016 where CEO Mary Barra stated that they could build the dies used to stamp the auto parts in china for 20 to 40 percent less than in Europe or the US. Dies will start to be built and shipped out worldwide from China. Clearly this would tend to show that GM will be affected by the China market more and more.
So this brings me back to my original question of what is GMs plan for their EV strategy. We have seen and heard so much about the competition and yet with GM this seems to be a black hole. Knowing that GM sold about 1.5 million auto’s last year in China and now for next year 10 percent will have to be EV / Plugin Hybrids, that means 150,000 of these auto’s. For Volkswagen, this is an even bigger number since they are number 1 in the market and have no EV or hybrid that I am aware of.
All Auto companies who do not have a specific plugin hybrid built in china or EV to import into China is going to find selling auto’s to be very difficult.
Fox Business Story
CNN Money Story
Motley Fool Story
Reuters 2016 story
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
October 15, 2013
On the face of it, sales for new vehicles haven't been better. Total sales for new vehicles could reach 15.5 million this year and some analysts believe that 2014 will see total sales reach 16 million vehicles. But with increase in sales, warning signs are appearing in automotive loans and leases which could put an end to the increases.
Automotive News that the average loan length has gone up to 65 months (about five and a half years). While the longer length means a lower payment, it also means that many consumers will still be in the process of paying their old vehicle off when they decide to buy a new one.
Also seeing a rise is the amount of subprime loans. During the second-quarter of this year, subprime loans accounted for 27.4 percent of loans made. That's an increase of two percent when compared to the same time last year. Now the good news is that delinquent loans (loans that three months or more overdue) are low and haven't increased with the number of subprime loans.
Analysts worry that the gains gotten by 'easy credit' could easily tumble if interest rates are raised. That could lead to slower sales, increased inventory, and the piling on of incentives.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.