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  1. Ford has a new midsize crossover, but it will only be sold in China. Meet the Territory which will slot in between the EcoSport and Kuga (Escape to us). The model was developed with its joint-venture partner, Jiangling Motors Corp. The exterior looks very similar to the EcoSport subcompact crossover, albeit with a more aggressive bumper and smaller grille. Where the Territory stands out is the interior. The design is quite simple with Mustang-inspired toggle controls and stitching on various trim pieces. Power will come from either a regular gas engine, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid powertrain. Optional features include an infotainment system with Mandarin voice-command and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of active driver assists. The Territory has a tough job as it will play a key part in Ford's plan to stem losses in sales. In the first half of 2018, the company reported sales in China had dropped 25 percent. This resulted in a $483 million loss in the second quarter (before taxes). Ford blamed an aging lineup as the reason to the sales decline. To solve this Ford is planning 50 new or redesigned vehicles that will launch in China beginning now and running through 2025 - beginning with the redesigned Focus and new Territory. The Territory goes on sale early next year. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Roadshow
  2. The effects of the on-going trade spat between the U.S. and China are beginning to be felt. According to Reuters, BMW is increasing the pricing on the U.S.-built X5 and X6 crossovers for the Chinese market. In a statement, BMW said the price increases will range from four to seven percent. This will only make a small dent in the 40 percent tariff being slapped on U.S. made vehicles entering China. BMW will be absorbing the remainder of the tariff for the time being. “BMW stands for free (trade) but can’t stand still without taking actions to respond to the market changes,” said a BMW spokeswoman. The German automaker isn't the only one to raise prices on vehicles destined to China. Reuters has learned from dealers that Mercedes-Bena has raised the price of the GLE-Class, which is built in Alabama. Source: Reuters
  3. Like many countries, China offers various incentives to spur the sales of electric vehicles. But a report from Bloomberg says the Chinese government is considering reducing various subsidies beginning next year. According to sources, the government is considering cutting the average incentive by more than a third from where they currently stand. Also up for consideration is incentives being eligible on models that can travel at least 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) on a single charge. Why? The government wants automakers to keep innovating by making EVs cheaper and go much further on a charge. “China is switching away from carrots. The government wants to ensure automakers will launch models that would be appealing to consumers hence setting subsidies contingent on minimum driving range requirements,” said Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, an analyst at Bloomberg NEF. In 2017, the Chinese government spent 6.64 billion yuan (about a billion dollars) on various subsidies for electric vehicles. But this year saw the government begin to cut various incentives. For example, cars that have a driving range of less than 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) saw their incentives reduced. “Government policy has a huge impact over the new-energy vehicle sector and every adjustment made on the policy front over the next two years will result in tremendous changes in the industry,” Li Yixiu, sales chief for Beijing Electric Vehicle Company earlier this month. "We believe there isn’t a chance for carmakers to raise prices to make up for the reduction of government fundings. Instead, we have to come up with competitive new products and services to respond.” Source: Bloomberg
  4. Tesla only has one assembly plant in Fremont, California. But that could be changing in the near future. Yesterday, Tesla and the and the Shanghai government reached a preliminary deal for a new assembly plant. The automaker expects production in about three year's time, provided they can get the approvals and permits needed. Tesla says the plant could build up to 500,000 vehicles annually. According to Bloomberg, the plant is expected to build the Model 3 sedan and upcoming Model Y crossover. Tesla building a plant in China doesn't come as surprise. The country is the largest market for electric vehicles, and most forecasters believe sales will skyrocket as government regulations push toward a goal of 100 percent electric vehicles by 2030. There are some questions about this new factory. For one, how is Tesla going to pay for this new plant? At the end of the first quarter, the company burned through $2.7 billion, mostly due to various issues dealing with ramping up Model 3 production. The Shanghai government said it would help cover some of capital costs. The other is will Tesla need to share technologies with a Chinese partner. Currently, any foreign automaker has to enter into a joint venture with a Chinese automaker and transfer various technologies. "For technology transfer, it is a matter subject to negotiation between the enterprises," said Huang Ou, deputy head of the Shanghai government’s economy and information technology commission. The Chinese government announced back in May that it would scrap the rules for "capping foreign ownership of new-energy vehicle ventures" by 2022. Source: Bloomberg, Reuters
  5. Buick is expanding their electrified options in China with the introduction of the Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and electric. They'll join the the Buick Velite 5 - a rebadged Chevrolet Volt. The design is interesting to say in the least with a fair number of creases and a blacked-out rear pillar on this hatchback body. Arriving first is the plug-in hybrid which is comprised of a 1.5L four-cylinder, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors, and lithium-ion battery pack. With a full tank of gas and fully charged battery, Buick estimates a range of 700 kilometers (about 435 miles). Not much is known about the electric variant, aside from Buick saying the model "will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience." The electric variant will arrive next year. Both Velite 6 models will come with Buick's new eConnect cloud connectivity system. Different drivers can setup their own accounts to personalize settings for navigation, audio, and internet use. eConnect will also provide real-time intergration of WeChat, a Chinese social media service. Owners can use their smartphone as the key for the Velite 6. Source: Buick Buick VELITE 6 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Make Global Debut in China WUZHEN – The Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV made their global debut this evening at a launch event in the scenic Chinese city of Wuzhen, Zhejiang. Buick also announced that the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be launched this year and its sibling, the VELITE 6 electric vehicle, will be introduced in China at a later date. Buick VELITE 6 Buick is focused on electrification, connectivity, intelligence and sharing in line with its Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy. The VELITE 6 represents the latest application of this strategy. The two VELITE 6 models leverage electrification and connectivity technology from SAIC-GM’s parent companies, including Buick’s newest electric propulsion technology and connectivity technology. They are based on the VELITE Concept new energy vehicle that was unveiled in November 2016. The VELITE 6 has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. The modern, streamlined shape aptly represents the innovative exterior styling that matches the new nameplate’s exciting technological character. The high-performance propulsion system of the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is composed of an EVT electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles. The motors and engine efficiently optimize power in different driving modes – such as the hybrid-driven mode of the motor and the engine, the single-driven mode of the motor, and the single-driven mode of the engine. It has a range of 700 km and combined fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km. The new-generation modular high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at the new state-of-the-art SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai. The battery incorporates leading battery heat management technology, providing independent and uniform temperature control of each battery unit via liquid cooling. This will ensure a longer life cycle and more stable performance. The VELITE 6 electric vehicle will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience. The flexible and open cloud-based Buick eConnect technology in both models enables cutting-edge services and over-the-air update capability. With exclusive accounts, users can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, internet use and more. Music and destinations can be sent to the car display screen via WeChat in real time, for one-button navigation and listening. Users can also directly receive information about their vehicles’ condition and recommended maintenance. VELITE 6 users’ smartphones serve as a virtual key to enter and start the vehicle. They can authorize others to use their vehicles through their phones as well. Additional functions and new features will continuously be added to improve the user experience.
  6. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters
  7. Later this month, Buick will be debuting an all-electric concept SUV named the Enspire. The teaser picture released by Buick shows off a rakish back window and a taillight that runs the full length of the rear. "The Enspire leverages GM’s global resources and is an exploration of design and new technologies. It is the brand’s latest example of innovation and application of future electric smart mobility," Buick said in a press release. We're not surprised that Buick is showing off an electric concept in China. Last year, Chinese buyers bought 1.18 million Buick models - compared to the 219,231 sold in the U.S. China is also pushing automakers to build electric vehicles to help reduce emissions in the country. We'll have more information when the Enspire debuts on April 17th during Buick Brand Night. Source: Buick Press Release is on Page 2 Buick Enspire Concept SUV to Make Global Debut in China SHANGHAI – Buick today announced that the Enspire, its new all-electric concept SUV, will make its global debut at Buick Brand Night on April 17 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang. It will also be on display to the public at Auto China 2018 in Beijing, which begins later this month. The Enspire leverages GM’s global resources and is an exploration of design and new technologies. It is the brand’s latest example of innovation and application of future electric smart mobility.
  8. China will soon be introducing regulations where automakers have to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles. This has caused a number of automakers to introduce new models and plan new alliances. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Mazda is planning to develop a new electric vehicle with their Chinese partner, Changan Automobile Group. The model is expected to be an SUV. Changan will provide the majority of the electric drivetrain while Mazda will produce the bodies. Mazda and Changan have been in a 50:50 joint-venture partnership since 2012, but the two have been working together since the 2000s. Currently, the venture builds the CX-3, CX-5, and Axela hatchback and sedan. This isn't only partnership Mazda has in terms of developing electric vehicles. Last year, Mazda and Toyota announced a new partnership that included plans for developing electric vehicle technologies. Source: Nikkei Asian Review
  9. The Nissan Titan will soon be available for sale in China. According to Automotive News, Nissan is planning to export Titans from their Canton, Mississippi plant to China to hopefully take a slice of the country's commercial and construction segments. But Nissan North America's Chairman Jose Munoz admits there's another reason for the Titan in China. "The Chinese look very much to the United States and they see pickups driving families here. They asked, Why don't we have those pickups here?" said Munoz. Nissan is saying how many Titans it will be sending to China, but Munoz said there isn't a lot of factory capacity to build out more Titans at the moment. This seems to mesh with Nissan's plan on launch the Titan family of trucks into other markets we on reported last month . Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. Ford has announced a new joint venture with Chinese automaker Zotye on affordable electric vehicles for the Chinese market. Named Zotye Ford Automobile, the venture will see the two automakers develop and manufacture electric vehicles for a new brand. Ford and Zotye will be investing a total of 5 billion RMB (about $756 million) on this venture. Part of that investment will go towards a new manufacturing plant in the Zhejiang Province. The two automakers will also work on mobility solutions. “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles," said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president of the Asia Pacific region. Zoyte knows a thing or two about selling EVs in China. The company has sold 22,500 small EVs within the first 10 months of the year. Zoyte is also very infamous for building the T700 which is a copy of the Porsche Macan crossover. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 FORD AND ZOTYE SIGN DEFINITIVE JV AGREEMENT IN CHINA TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLES Ford and Zotye signed a definitive joint venture agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co. Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable electric vehicles for consumers in China Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will develop and manufacture all-electric vehicles under a new Chinese brand Zotye Ford also plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Zhejiang Province. A new dedicated sales and service network also will be established Ford and Zotye also will explore the opportunity to offer new mobility services in China to help provide solutions for emerging transportation challenges Beijing, Nov. 8, 2017 -- Ford Motor Company and Zotye today reached a definitive agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable all-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new indigenous brand. The agreement was signed in Beijing today by Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group Ltd. and board director of Zotye Auto. Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will design, build, market and distribute all-electric passenger vehicles for China, the world’s leading electric vehicle market. The establishment of the JV is a key step by Ford towards realizing its vision of a cleaner, more environmentally-sustainable future. The new JV will leverage a combined investment of 5 billion RMB (approximately U.S. $756 million). The new JV builds upon Ford’s ambitious China electrification strategy. Ford announced earlier this year that at least 70 percent of Ford-branded vehicles sold in the country will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025. Zotye Ford plans to build a dedicated product research and development center as well as its own sales and services network. A new manufacturing plant for the JV will be constructed in Zhejiang Province. The all-electric vehicles produced by the JV will be sold under a new Chinese brand designed to meet Chinese consumers’ aspirations for electric vehicles. “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles," Fleet said. "We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese customers." In addition to the new JV, Ford and Zotye will explore offering mobility services to consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow. Through this new JV, Ford commits to actively support the advancement of a more environmentally sustainable auto industry in China through local research and development as well as domestic production of all-electric vehicles. Zotye Auto is a pioneer in the Chinese all-electric vehicle segment. It is the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment and sold more than 22,500 all-electric vehicles year-to-date through October, representing a growth of over 14 percent year-over-year. The JV will benefit from Zotye’s expertise in designing and commercializing EVs in China, and Ford’s global product development and technology capabilities. “This is an important day for Zotye as we partner with Ford to help advance the growth of the Chinese auto industry,” said Zotye’s Ying. “We will work closely together to help meet Chinese consumers’ growing demand for electric vehicles.” Upon its establishment, the new JV will expand Ford’s footprint in China. Ford already operates successful vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. Ford will continue working closely with its JV partners to develop and manufacture New Energy Vehicles to meet rising consumer demand in China during the impending electrification phase of the Chinese auto industry.
  11. Last month, General Motors announced an ambitious plan to launch 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 with all of their brands playing a role. But Buick could be playing a prominent role in this plan. Duncan Aldred, vice president of sales and marketing at Buick-GMC tells Wards Auto that Buick will play a "huge part” in the coming years when it comes to EVs. “We will have multiple entries in a fairly short period of time. We’re GM’s biggest brand in the world’s biggest market. You’ll see a number of different technologies to go toward (our) zero-emissions objective,” said Aldred. That biggest market Aldred is referring to is China. In 2019, the country will require 10 percent of an automaker’s sales to be made up of low and zero-emission models. This rises to 12 percent in 2020. “A lot of the electrification adoption will be driven by legislation.” Already, Buick sells a hybrid version of the LaCrosse and rebadged Chevrolet Volt as the Velite5 in China. Rumor has it that Buick is working on an electric crossover using the Chevrolet Bolt as a base. Aldred wouldn't go into what Buick's plan entails, only saying that will not only be electric vehicles. Source: Wards Auto
  12. Ford announced today that once the current Ford Focus ends production in mid-2018, the model will shift production of the 2019 Ford Focus to China rather than Mexico. The Focus is currently built at Ford's Michigan Assembly in Wayne, MI along side the C-Max Hybrid. It has been known since mid-2015 that Focus production would be moving out of the U.S. once this model run was finished. During the 2016 Presidential election, then Candidate Trump criticized Ford for the move to Mexico, however Ford pointed out that they were making room for the upcoming Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco and that no jobs at Wayne Assembly will be lost as it retools for truck and SUV production. The Ford Focus will be the third vehicle sold in the United States built in China. The other models currently manufactured in China for U.S. consumption are the Volvo S60 Inscription and the Buick Envision. Ford states this move will save $500 million on top of $500 million projected from a move to Mexico. Part of that savings comes from a reduction of the number of plants. Ford will only re-tool the plant in China rather than both China and North America. In the same announcement, Ford stated they will spend $900 million to retool its Kentucky Truck plant for the new 2018 Ford Expedition and 2018 Lincoln Navigator. No word as to which vehicle will take the place of the Focus in the Mexico plant. Press Release on Page 2 Source: Ford Media, Picture courtesy of Ford Motor Company FORD INVESTS IN KY. PLANT TO BUILD NEW EXPEDITION, NAVIGATOR; SMART, SPACIOUS NEW FOCUS FOR N.A. TO BE GLOBALLY SOURCED Ford is investing $900 million in Kentucky Truck Plant, securing 1,000 U.S. hourly jobs to build all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator All-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator to be exported to more than 55 markets globally – including Navigator to China; the company is a top auto exporter in the U.S. Exciting new Ford Focus on the way for North American customers beginning in 2019 with more technology, more space and a number of new Focus models. Next-generation Focus for North America will be globally sourced primarily from China – rather than Hermosillo, Mexico – with production starting in the second half of 2019. Current model production ends in mid-2018 This manufacturing plan allows the company to further grow its leadership as an exporter and deliver world-class Focus to North American customers in a way that makes business sense – with no U.S. employees out of a job Ford is saving $1 billion in investment costs versus its original Focus production plan, improving the financial health of its Focus business and further improving manufacturing scale in China – all helping create a more operationally fit company DEARBORN, Mich., June 20, 2017 – Ford today announced manufacturing actions centered on improving the company’s operational fitness and building vehicles that excite customers around the world. Ford is investing $900 million in Kentucky Truck Plant for plant upgrades to build the all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, which begin arriving in dealerships this fall. Both full-size SUVs will be exported to more than 55 markets globally – including Navigator to China. Ford is a top auto exporter in the U.S. The $900 million investment secures 1,000 jobs for hourly workers at the Louisville plant. This is in addition to the $1.3 billion investment and 2,000 jobs created at that plant in late 2015 to build the all-new Ford Super Duty. Kentucky Truck employs nearly 7,600 full-time hourly workers – and Ford has more U.S. hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker. “Large SUVs are attracting a new generation around the world – and we’re finding new ways to deliver the capability, versatility and technology that customers around the world really want with our all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, Global Operations. “At the same time, we also have looked at how we can be more successful in the small car segment and deliver even more choices for customers in a way that makes business sense.” Ford’s next-generation Ford Focus will be more spacious and packed with technology that customers want. Production begins in the second half of 2019, with models coming from the company’s existing Focus plants globally. Most new North American Focus models initially will come from China, with additional variants coming from Europe later. No U.S. hourly employees will be out of a job tied to the new manufacturing plan for Focus. Production of the current North American Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant continues through mid-2018. Following that, the plant will be converted to produce the Ranger midsize pickup truck in late 2018 and the Bronco midsize SUV in 2020. The new North America Focus production plan saves $1 billion in investment costs versus the original plan – $500 million on top of the $500 million savings announced earlier this year by cancelling plans for an all-new manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and moving Focus production to Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico, plant. “Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles,” Hinrichs said.
  13. It seems Cadillac has some updates in store for the XTS if some leaked pictures from Chinese website Autohome are the real deal. The pictures show the XTS taking some ideas from the CT6 and XT5. Up front is a broader, more upright grille with new headlights. Around back is a more sculpted trunk lid and L-shaped taillights. Powertrains are expected to carry over, meaning the U.S. will stick with the 3.6L V6 and twin-turbo 3.6L. Over in China, the XTS will stick with the 2.0L turbo-four. We wouldn't be surprised if there is an update for the CUE system. Source: Autohome
  14. Chinese automakers see the U.S. as a land opportunity and have been making promises to start selling vehicles in the near future. None so far have made it. Now one Chinese brand is reconsidering their plans. SAIC Motor Corp., China's largest automaker and partner with GM, has put their U.S. ambitions on hold. Michael Yang, executive director of SAIC Motor’s international department said at a briefing that they have uncertainties about the trade policy between China and the U.S. due to the election of Donald Trump. Yang went on to say that the company would implement their U.S. strategy once it has gotten clarity. For the time being, SAIC has moved up plans to start selling vehicles in the European Union. “Eventually we aim to have all, but at the moment we are focusing on” China and then Europe, Yang said. “The reason is the ‘climate change’ after the new presidency.” This contrasts with another Chinese automaker, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., (GAC) which plans on entering the U.S. by 2019 with their Trumpchi brand. Although there is talk that GAC is considering changing the name of the brand before arriving in the U.S. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. The rivalry of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang has been going for ages in the U.S. But now this fight has expanded into China. Automotive News reports that a growing group of Chinese buyers are being drawn towards to these models as the exude the no-apologies Americana attitude. "We're seeing the beginning of a muscle car culture here. Something that is uniquely American appeals to the Chinese consumer. The image that it relays to the automotive public is very positive," said James Chao, a China market auto analyst with IHS Markit. Sales of both models are small with Chevrolet only moving 2,000 Camaros since its launch 2011. Ford is doing slightly better with 6,200 Mustangs sold since its launch in 2015. In the first quarter, Mustang sales saw a 90 percent increase to 963 vehicles. Part of the reason for the slow sales comes down to the price. The Camaro starts about 399,900 yuan (about $58,000) - more than double of the base price of $26,900 in the U.S. The Mustang isn't that far behind, costing about $15 dollars less. Prices are increased due to a 25 percent import tariff on U.S. made vehicles, homologation and shipping fees, and Chinese buyers trending to splurge on higher-time models. But despite the low sales, the Camaro and Mustang are bringing buyers to dealers. These models act as eye candy to help draw shoppers into showrooms with the hope they'll purchase a vehicle, where it be the eye candy or something a little less exciting. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. Volvo announced today at the Shanghai Auto Show that it would be building its first electric vehicle in China beginning in 2019. The model will use the CMA platform that is being jointly developed by Volvo and its parent company Geely. According to Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson, it will be an all-new model but declined to say what type of vehicle it would be - crossover, sedan, or hatchback. "It will be a body style that we expect will have global acceptance and we will start production with the battery-only version only, with internal combustion variants that could follow later," Samuelsson told Automotive News. As for why Volvo has decided on China to build the EV, it comes down to the Chinese government working on reducing vehicle emissions. “Volvo Cars fully supports the Chinese government’s call for cleaner air as outlined in the latest five-year plan. It is fully in-line with our own core values of environmental care, quality and safety,” said Samuelsson in a statement. The statement also reveals that Volvo is working on an electric vehicle using their SPA platform. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Volvo Press Release is on Page 2 Volvo’s first all electric car will be made in China Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, will build its first fully electric car in China, the company announced today at Auto Shanghai in China. The all new model will be based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for smaller cars, and will be available for sale in 2019 and exported globally from China, Volvo said. The decision to make its first electric car in China highlights the central role China will play in Volvo’s electrified future and underlines China’s growing sophistication as a manufacturing centre for the automotive industry. “Volvo Cars fully supports the Chinese government’s call for cleaner air as outlined in the latest five-year plan. It is fully in-line with our own core values of environmental care, quality and safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. “We believe that electrification is the answer to sustainable mobility.” China is the world’s largest sales market for electrified cars and has ambitious targets to expand sales of fully electric and hybrid cars in order to address congestion and air quality issues in its cities. Volvo has a commitment to sell a total of 1m electrified cars – including fully electric cars and hybrids – by 2025. It is also developing a fully electric car on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The Swedish company also plans to offer plug-in hybrid versions of every model. Volvo has three manufacturing facilities in China in Daqing, which makes its 90 series cars, Chengdu, which makes its 60 series cars, and Luqiao, which will make its 40 series cars.
  17. China has given Cadillac a bit of breathing room when it comes to sales and working on filling out their lineup. Automotive News reports overall sales of Cadillac vehicles in the U.S. dropped 3 percent, while sales in China rose 46 percent. "We are moving Cadillac from having this very strong U.S.-centric focus to having a global focus. The time will come when we will sell more Cadillacs in China than here," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen in an interview. With sales going up in China, this gives the brand some flexibility from transitioning a sedan-heavy lineup to adding more crossovers beginning in mid-2018 for the U.S. Currently, the XT5 serves as the brand's sole crossover and best-selling model (2016 saw 39,485 XT5s sold). Not a good thing since light trucks currently account for 60 percent of total U.S. car sales. "The majority of our portfolio is exposed to downdraft, while we can't really capitalize adequately on all the opportunities that exist with the swing of demand into crossovers. Now, this will be remedied, of course, over time as we expand our portfolio, but in the meantime it is our reality," said de Nysschen. Dealers though don't get to have that breathing space. An 18-month window without any new products is making them very anxious. "We're in the retail business. We live and breathe month to month and weekend to weekend. There is a lot of product out there on the horizon, but nothing very soon," said Bill Wallace, owner of Wallace Cadillac in Stuart, Florida. The next product is expected to a compact crossover known as the XT3, due in mid-2018. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
  18. China has fined General Motors $29 million for monopolistic pricing according to Reuters. This ends speculation that we first brought to light last week. The fine is due to GM setting minimum prices on certain Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet models. "GM fully respects local laws and regulations wherever we operate. We will provide full support to our joint venture in China to ensure that all responsive and appropriate actions are taken with respect to this matter," GM said in a email statement. It was speculated that the fine is due to comments made by president-elect Donald Trump about the U.S. possibly recognizing Taiwan. But sources tell Reuters that the investigation was already underway before Trump's comments. This is possibly a move by China to protect their companies. Source: Reuters
  19. General Motors is under investigation by China's National Development and Reform Commission over possible antitrust violations. News of this first broke in an interview with Zhang Handong, director of the National Development and Reform Commission's price supervision bureau done by Chinese Newspaper China Daily. Handong said an American automaker would be penalized for monopolistic behavior. He did not mention said automaker. Bloomberg was able to learn from sources that the automaker in question is General Motors. The accusation is that GM told distributors in China to fix prices in an effort to improve sales. It should be noted that many of the penalties handed down by the bureau have been to mostly foreign companies. This has led many to accuse the bureau of being protectionist of companies in China, something the bureau has denied time and time again. Also, this comes days after President-elect Donald Trump made comments questioning the U.S. policy of not recognizing Taiwan. Source: China Daily, Bloomberg, Reuters
  20. General Motors will begin importing the Colorado and Silverado pickups into China next year, but you'll only be able to buy them in select markets. Automotive News explains that many Chinese cities have bans on pickups for the fear of aggravating air pollution and causing more traffic issues. But earlier this year, the Chinese Government lifted the ban in four provinces - Henan, Hebei, Liaoning, and Yunnan - in an effort to jumpstart sales of domestic pickups. GM sees an opportunity with this and wants to explore it. But there is a major downside to this. Since GM will be importing the trucks, they'll be hit with 25 percent tariff by the Chinese Government. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet to Offer Iconic Silverado, Colorado Trucks for Chinese Consumers Brand’s best-selling nameplate and its midsize sibling to go on sale in 2017 GUANGZHOU – Chevrolet announced this evening at an event in Guangzhou that it will make available two classic American trucks – the Silverado and Colorado – in China through parallel import in 2017. The Silverado is the best-selling Chevrolet truck in the world. Since its launch in 1987, three generations have been introduced, with cumulative sales of more than 17 million units. Powered by an EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Silverado delivers peak torque of 624 Nm. It is also equipped with a wide range of smart technologies such as Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA), as well as power seats and a Bose® audio system. With its wheelbase of 3,645 mm and length of 5,843 mm, it can handle the toughest jobs expected of a pickup. The Colorado was the industry’s hottest-selling product in the U.S. market. It was named the 2015 and 2016 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. The midsize pickup offers a combination of refinement, maneuverability and efficiency. Powered by a 3.6L EcoTec V-6 engine, it delivers peak torque of 365 Nm and has a towing capability of 3.1 tons. Chevrolet has long been famous for offering the most durable trucks on the market, which embody the charm of freedom while providing an off-road capability.
  21. Previous Page Next Page Volvo is stretching the S90 lineup - literally. The Swedish automaker announced today two long-wheelbase S90 models for the Chinese market. Both models ride on a wheelbase that is 4.7-inches longer than standard S90 - 120.5 vs. 115.8 inches. The first model is simply a stretched version of the S90 called the S90 Long Wheelbase. The second model is the S90 Excellence which stands as the most luxurious vehicle Volvo has offered. The most noticeable feature is Volvo's Lounge Console. First shown in a concept last year, the console takes the place of the front passenger seat and provides a number of features to the person sitting behind it. The console features a large storage compartment, built-in entertainment system with a large display, and adjustable footrest. Other luxuries include power adjustments for the seats, heated and cooled cupholders, a built-in refrigerator, and crystal glasses. The S90 Excellence is powered by Volvo's T8 Twin Engine Plug-In, while the S90 Long Wheelbase offers T4 and T5 powertrains along with the T8. Volvo also announced that it would be moving production of the S90 from Torslanda, Sweden to Daqing, China where it will be exported around the world. “China will play an increasingly important part in our global manufacturing ambitions. Our factories here will deliver world-class products for export across the globe in coming years, contributing to our objective of selling up to 800,000 cars a year by 2020,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group in a statement. The S90 isn't the only model that will be built China. The current and next-generation 60 Series will be built in Chengdu and the upcoming 40 Series models will be made at a new plant in Luqiao. Volvo declined to comment whether these vehicles will be exported. The S90 LWB and Excellence will debut at the Guangzhou auto show this month. Production of the S90 LWB will kick off later this year and will be coming to the U.S. The Excellence will go into production next year. Source: Volvo, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 Volvo Cars unveils new version of the S90 sedan and top-of-the-line S90 Excellence in Shanghai, marking a new era for car-making in China Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, has unveiled a new upgraded China version of its S90 sedan and a top-of-the-line luxury model called S90 Excellence, both aimed at the high-end sedan market, in advance of their first public appearance at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show. The new S90 will be the most premium car ever made in China. Both versions will be built in Volvo Cars’ production facility in Daqing, China, and exported globally, highlighting the high levels of quality that underpin Volvo’s global manufacturing strategy. “China will play an increasingly important part in our global manufacturing ambitions. Our factories here will deliver world-class products for export across the globe in coming years, contributing to our objective of selling up to 800,000 cars a year by 2020,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO, Volvo Car Group. Volvo has paved the way in developing China’s exports of cars to global markets. It was the first Western car maker to export a premium China-made car to the US in 2015 with the S60 Inscription, which received a full 5-Star rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing. Premium credentials Both the S90 cars underscore Volvo’s credentials as a premium car maker. “The first thing you notice in the S90 Excellence is that we have removed the front passenger seat and replaced it with what we call the Lounge Console, designed to meet the chauffeur-driven executive customers’ need to relax or work while on the move. The second thing you will notice is the high quality materials that combine to deliver a well-thought-through and immersive luxury feel,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Car Group. The S90 Excellence incorporates many features designed to enhance the in-car experience – a full panoramic roof, foldout worktables, clever storage, a heated and cooled cup holder, an adjustable footrest and a built-in entertainment system featuring a large display for work or entertainment purposes. The S90 Excellence also includes a rear-seat touchscreen control interface, a built-in refrigeration compartment and handmade crystal glasses from Swedish glassmaker Orrefors. The S90 will be available with Volvo Cars’ award-winning T4 and T5 petrol engines and the top-of-the-line T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, delivering an uncompromising mix of performance and pure electric power that makes the most of Volvo’s ‘Relaxed Confidence’ chassis settings. The S90 Excellence will only come with the T8 Twin Engine powertrain option. The new cars will come with a host of standard safety features including Large Animal Detection as a part of the City Safety system, Pilot Assist, which is a hands-on-the-wheel semi-autonomous driver assistance system that works up to 130 km/h. Volvo’s new 90 Series cars also come with the convenience of smartphone integration, incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allowing convenient access to familiar smartphone features via the large centre display in the car. Both cars will be available with a new CleanZone air quality system that employs an ionic air cleaner, a PM 2.5 real-time monitor in the four-zone air conditioning system. The new S90 goes into production in November. The S90 Excellence follows next year. Previous Page Next Page
  22. Zotye has confirmed earlier speculation that the first vehicle they will offer in the U.S. will be the T600. A refreshed version of the T600 was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show last month. The T600 would come with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic, but other details are not being released until U.S. certification is complete. In China, the T600 starts around $14,000. In January, Zotye announced that it has signed up 19 dealers with 80 more in process. They hope to have 300 dealers in the top 100 markets in the US in time for the expected launch of the T600 in late 2020. Following the T600 would be a full-size crossover and a midsize sedan.
  23. Cadillac is aiming to boost its dealership network in China to about 500 stores by 2025, about a 65% increase over the 302 it has in operation today. Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said that Cadillac in China has become a credible alternative to the German luxury brands, and that their average buyer age is 32 years old. Cadillac has plans to introduce a new Cadillac model every 6 months through 2021. Carlisle also announced that Cadillac will release a refresh of the Cadillac XT5 later this year. Cadillac sold over 205,000 vehicles in China last year, a 17 percent increase over the year prior. That compares to just 154,700 sales in the US.
  24. China has announced today that it would be reducing tariffs on U.S.-built cars and car parts from 40 to 15 percent beginning on January 1st. This reduction will last for three months as the U.S. and China begin hashing out a new trade deal. We first reported the reduction of the tariffs earlier this week. China's Ministry of Finance posted on their website said it hopes the talks between the two can go quickly and remove "all additional tariffs on each other’s goods" that were brought forth before the current trade-war. “China just announced that their economy is growing much slower than anticipated because of our Trade War with them. They have just suspended U.S. Tariff Hikes. U.S. is doing very well. China wants to make a big and very comprehensive deal. It could happen, and rather soon!” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter in response to the announcement. China raised the tariffs on U.S.-built vehicles and parts back in July in response to the U.S. raised tariffs on Chinese-built vehicles and parts to 27.5 percent. The move caused a number of headaches for automakers which had to increase prices on models sold in China or change up various plans. Various automakers and groups welcomed the news. At the moment, the U.S. hasn't announced any plans to reduce the 27.5 percent tariff on Chinese-built vehicles and parts. Source: Associated Press, Reuters
  25. The Chinese government is considering a proposal to reduce tariffs on U.S.-Built vehicles from the current 40 percent back down to the 15 percent before the trade war broke out between it and the U.S. Sources tell Bloomberg a proposal has been submitted to the cabinet to be reviewed in the coming days. This proposal stems from a trade summit in Buenos Aires where U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce on the trade war earlier this month. After the meeting, Trump tweeted out that "China agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs on imported American-made cars, something China did not confirm at the time." Shares of various automakers including Diamler, Ford, and Tesla rose on the news. The trade war between the U.S. and China has taken a toll on automakers. Both BMW and Dimaler have warned of lower profits as tariffs have forced them to raise prices in China. Others such as Volvo and Ford have made changes to production and vehicle plans. China's Finance Ministry didn't respond to Bloomberg's request for a comment. Source: Bloomberg

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