The incentives to buy an electric car in the UK may have been reduced, but more and more people are still making the switch away from conventionally powered vehicles. So far this year, sales of ‘alternatively fuelled’ vehicles have accounted for around 4% of all new car registrations. Britain is western Europe’s third-largest market for electrified cars, behind the Netherlands and Norway, where incentives are substantial, but the global trend tells a similar story. March this year was the third-best month for electrified car sales in Europe, behind only December 2015 and 2016, when financial inducements peaked. The new Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf were the standard-bearers, chased by the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander. Electrified car sales average around 1% of total sales across the region. In the US, the mindset is anchored harder in big-bore petrol engines, but the signs of a shift towards EVs are still encouraging. In the first three months of this year, … [Read more...] about Insight: why demand from China is spurring growth of electric car sales
Ford Motor Co said Tuesday it will move some production of its Focus small car to China and import the vehicles to the United States in a long-term bet on low oil prices and stable US-China trade relations despite recent tensions. The move suggests China could play a much larger role in future vehicle production for North America, perhaps eclipsing Mexico as a low-cost manufacturing source. Ford painted the production shift from Mexico to China, slated in mid-2019, as a purely financial move that will save the company $500 million in reduced tooling costs. But Ford also expects to ship about 80,000 vehicles to China this year, including the redesigned Lincoln Navigator that goes into production this fall at Ford's Kentucky truck plant. Ford's decision to import its first vehicles from China is also the first major manufacturing investment decision made by new Chief Executive Jim Hackett, who succeeded Mark Fields in May. Discussion about the small-car production shift from Mexico … [Read more...] about Remember Mexico plant Trump criticized? Ford will import Focus from China instead
DETROIT - Ford will export the next-generation Focus compact car from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, saving the company $500 million, a top executive said on Tuesday. It is the first major manufacturing investment decision made by new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett, who succeeded Mark Fields in late May. Discussion about the small-car production shift from Mexico to China began "a couple months ago" under Fields, said Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations. In January, after President Donald Trump criticized Ford for shipping small-car manufacturing to Mexico, Ford said it would kill plans to build a $1.8 billion Focus plant in San Luis Potosi and instead produce the new Focus at an existing plant in Hermosillo. Although it is cheaper to build and ship cars to the United States from Mexico than China, "this was not a variable cost decision," Hinrichs said in a Tuesday morning briefing. "It allows us to free up a lot of capital" … [Read more...] about Remember Mexico plant Trump criticized? Ford will now import Focus from China
Ford Motor Co will export the next-generation Focus compact car from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, the company said on Tuesday. The current Focus will be phased out of production in Wayne, Michigan, in mid-2018, according to Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations. The Wayne plant will begin building a new Ranger compact truck in late 2018. No US jobs will be affected, Ford said, adding that it employs more US hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the United States than any other automaker. The redesigned Focus for North America will be built at a joint-venture plant in Chongqing, China, Hinrichs said. Earlier this year, Ford canceled plans for a new $1.8 billion small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and said it would build the new Focus instead at an existing plant in Hermosillo. The decision to shift from Hermosillo to Chongqing, where Ford has an existing Focus plant, was made "over the last couple months," according … [Read more...] about Ford to export Focus from China to US in 2019
Authorities in China have granted a licence to BMW, which allows the Bavarian carmaker to export vehicles built by its local joint venture BMW Brilliance. This opens up the possibility for China-made BMWs to make their way to customers in other markets such as Europe and the United States, as reported by Automotive News. “We have an export licence for the joint venture but so far we haven’t decided on exports since we need the production for the local market,” said Olaf Kastner, head of BMW in China. Quality concerns have been associated with cars from China, but BMW now believes the quality of its cars made in China has reached the level of those built in Germany or the US. Last year, BMW built over 300,000 vehicles at its two Chinese facilities located in Dadong and Tiexi, where it makes models such as the 1 Series Sedan, 2 Series Active Tourer, 3 Series, 5 Series and X1 (the X3 will be added in the future). The former certainly appears to be most sensible model to … [Read more...] about BMW receives licence to export cars made in China
Ratan Tata has revealed Tata Motors' plans to import auto parts from China for cost benefits. The focus will be on importing automatic transmissions (AT) for its vehicles in India, The Economic Times reported. The company is expected to source CKD kits including AT components and assemble them domestically. The competitive prices offered by Chinese manufacturers would benefit Tata Motors, without Tata having to invest much larger sums in R&D and development of entirely new transmission technology - for what are still considered to be relatively small volumes. Of late, automatic transmission technology is increasingly being sought after in the Indian auto market. The leading car manufacturers in India like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have had an AT option on some of their vehicles for a while now. However, Tata Motors does not provide automatic transmissions on any of its vehicles at the moment. Cheaper components, cheaper cars This move could also allow Tata Motors to exploit the … [Read more...] about Tata to import low-cost parts & auto transmissions from China
Onkar S Kanwar, chairman of Apollo Tyres, on acquiring German tyre distributor Reifencom, expanding capacity both in India and abroad, entering new markets, and the growing threat to the domestic tyre industry from Chinese imports. An interview by Shobha Mathur. After the Cooper Tire acquisition fallout, acquiring Reifencom GmbH of Germany recently would bring new growth opportunities to the Apollo stable. What are the synergies that are shared with the German tyre company and how does Apollo plan to leverage its distribution channels and tyre brands? Reifencom GmbH is one of the largest tyre distributors in Germany, and not a manufacturer. This acquisition will help Apollo Tyres to be one step ahead of its competitors in the largest tyre market in Europe, which is Germany and get closer to the end customer. It will further drive Apollo brand's entry into the car tyre space and strengthen Vredestein's distribution through both B2B and B2C channels. How will the acquisition be funded … [Read more...] about Increasing imports from China into India are the leading challenge for the tyre industry.
The Japanese auto giant, Honda is facing a huge problem in terms of production and has currently suspended the production of its compact hatchback, the Brio due to lack of availability of parts. Some of the key components for the Brio and Jazz are manufactured and shipped from Thailand to India. Due to the recent floods in Thailand, the company’s production was badly hit. Honda sells the Brio in Thailand only apart from India and Honda personnel are now in talks with different alternative supplies based in china for the sourcing of the same components. The company has almost finalized its alternative sourcing arrangements and is likely to go into normal production by February or March. Although Honda has stopped production of the Brio temporarily, they haven’t stopped bookings for the model. The bookings for Jazz have been temporarily put on hold. “We have been trying to source from alternative destinations like Japan and China parts that we now import from Thailand. … [Read more...] about Honda To Import Brio Components From China
Facing a tough competition from its rivals like Toyota Motor and Ford Motor, Tata Motors has taken to a new game plan. In a bid to offer more variants in the domestic market, the maker of the world’s cheapest car, has decided to offer the vehicles with automatic transmission. Currently, the company does not produce any automatic transmission vehicle. At the same time if one checks the product portfolio of Maruti, one would find five automatic variants of the fifteen vehicles it sells in the market. Hyundai Motor, on the other hand offers eight of its models with that technology. So, definitely though late, it is the right move taken by the Tata’s to step into this segment. The company needs to ramp up its offerings as its profit fell to its lowest in the last three years in the year ended March 31. They must offer variety at competitive prices. For this, the company is looking at sourcing the technology from China, a country already famous for selling the cheapest … [Read more...] about Tata To Import Auto Components From China
It looks like we’ll have to watch out for more than just melamine-tainted milk from China – your car’s air conditioning compressor might be dodgy as well! South Korea’s Joong Ang Daily carries a rather worrying report today – apparently a Mercedes-Benz owner complained about problems with his car’s air conditioning system after replacing his refrigerant just two months before. Upon checking out the Mercedes-Benz’s engine bay, they found the air conditioning compressor covered with orange rust. An inspection by police later revealed that the refrigerant was dangerous and contained flammable chemicals, that could explode if it came into contact with something like a cigarette butt or something similar. The refrigerant was found to contain chloromethane, a colorless gas which according to a South Korean police officer can cause an explosion even if it comes into contact with air. Other than the matter of the potential explosion risk, some other … [Read more...] about Be Warned: South Korea uncovers explosive, flammable and corrosive automotive refrigerant from China!
The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times. Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again of the Ford Taurus (thanks mostly to former Ford CEO Alan Mulally) and throws in a little tidbit in the middle: If sales keep falling, analysts speculate Ford could eliminate U.S. production of it and … import the small volume it needs here from China … Oh boy. It’s clear that Ford will have to make a decision about the Taurus soon. The current Taurus was last redesigned in 2009 and slightly updated in 2012. In April, Ford announced it would redesign the Taurus, but only in China. Sales of the full-size Taurus peaked only a couple years ago, but the Taurus is on pace to sell 45,000 cars this year — including … [Read more...] about Could the Ford Taurus be Imported From China?
For people with a sober mind, for people who do not suffer from a Stockholm Syndrome where hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, the shotgun marriage between Saab and Chinese car distributor Pangda left many questions open. What was related through Spyker channels did not sound like business the way it is done in China. Pangda’s CEO and founder Pang Qing Hua talked about his plans for Saab in an interview with the Chinese website, Auto Sohu. ChinaCarTimes supplied the translation into English, you can read the full version here. What you will read will make much more sense than the breathless announcements by Victor Muller. The interview answers some questions we had asked all along, for instance the question of the miraculous arrival of €30 million by last Tuesday. Pang Qing Hua explains: “On Monday we signed a contract, on Tuesday we were preparing to send them 30 million Euros, and now it has already been sent. Saab has promised … [Read more...] about „We will take over the importation from 2012 onwards.”
We have been predicting it for quite a while: Chinese car exports, hopelessly in a hole, will be saved by those who used to be most paranoid about Chinese exports: Foreign carmakers. Surprisingly, they are led by partially government and union-owned GM. The new motto appears to be: “Chinese car exports bad, except if they are our Chinese.” Says Reuters: “Foreign car makers now see China as a launch pad for exports, with General Motors blazing the trail with shipments of its Chevy Sail.” According to Reuters, “analysts” (such as us) “say early signs of success for the Sail will only encourage other car manufacturers to develop products in China and then use the country as a base for exporting elsewhere.” Wasn’t there the apocalyptic angst that cheap cars from China will flood the world markets? It’s becoming reality, except that the first ones are wearing a Chevrolet bow-tie. The Sail can be bought in China for as little as … [Read more...] about Reuters: GM Blazes Trail Of Small Car Exports From China
The Japanese car industry found a way to soften the impact of the crushingly high yen on its books. It does what U.S. and European automakers have practiced for a long time: Import low-cost parts from abroad. It is a stop-gap measure while large parts of the Japanese car industry is packing. After studying recent trade statistics, The Nikkei [sub] learned that Japanese “parts imports rose to approximately 324,000 tons in the first six months of the current calendar year, the highest level recorded since 1998.” The abnormally strong yen quickly turns the export of cars from Japan into a loss-making endeavor. By the same token, it makes imports from softer currency markets cheaper. Not surprisingly, parts imports from China to Japan rose 40 percent in the first six months, The Nikkei says. Nissan is leading this drive, the Nikkei says: “A number of Nissan Motor Co. factories throughout Kyushu now buy more parts from South Korea and China than they did in the past. About … [Read more...] about Japan Blatantly Copies America, Europe, Imports Cheap Parts From China
After a round of psychological warfare with targeted leaks, GM seems to be ready to attack the overcapacity at lossmaking Opel in earnest – eventually. The German government reportedly has been informed that Opel wants to close Bochum. Jobs will be exported to low cost countries such as Poland, Russia, China, India, Mexico and Brazil. Cars will be imported even from China. Germany’s WAZ has learned that Opel Chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke informed the head of the Berlin chancellery, Ronald Pofalla, that Opel’s Bochum plant will be closed in 2015. Earlier closures are contractually verboten. Germany’s Spiegel laid its hands on an internal strategy paper (“Global Assembly Footprint”) that says that Bochum and Ellesmere Port will be closed. The paper also calls for capacity increases in low cost countries. Opel’s plant in Gliwice, Poland, is scheduled to increase capacity by 25 percent. By 2016, GM wants to import up to 300,000 cars to Europe from … [Read more...] about Opel To Close Plants In Bochum, Ellesmere Port, Will Import Cars From China
A China-made Cadillac XTS was announced and expected for “this fall, just months after the car’s North American launch.” It has not appeared yet. But they are working on it hard, as the picture by Carnewschina attests. The car was caught on a highway near Shanghai, being shuttled between the many locations GM has in and around the city. According to Carnewschina, “the China-made Cadillac XTS will debut on the April 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, it will be launched on the Chinese car market in the first half of next year.” Better late than never. Cadillac needs Chinese production badly. In the wake of the mentally challenged punitive tariff on Chinese tires, China retaliated with a punitive tariff on cars imported from China. The tariff was expertly crafted to hurt GM the most. Said The Guardian last year: “General Motors faces the greatest impact, almost 22% extra on some sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and other cars with engine capacities above 2.5 … [Read more...] about Will China-made Cadillac XTS Change Caddy’s China Fortunes?
With China being the world’s largest car market, and the largest market of many of our carmakers, getting good and timely data is essential for stock analysts and journalists alike. Bloomberg has an exasperated story that cries about the absolute mess in China when it comes to hard data. It also describes the great lengths analysts go to when gauging Chinese car sales. No wonder the analyst reports are often messier than even the messiest Chinese data: “Yankun Hou, an award-winning auto industry analyst at UBS AG (UBSN), counts Toyotas and BMWs in the parking lots of car factories in China using satellite images from Google Maps to gauge inventory buildups.” TTAC says: Not a good idea. Actually, extremely bad. Google Maps is highly unreliable in China, with maps off by 100 yards or more. People got lost in the desert of Inner Mongolia and died while relying on Google Maps on their cellphones. “Scott Laprise at CLSA Asia Pacific Markets said he pretends to be a … [Read more...] about Are We Getting Snowed By Fake Data From China?
A few weeks ago, GM’s spokesman Greg Martin said: “There will be no exports of these cars built in China. Cars that are built in China are sold in China.” No true, said GM China head Bob Socia to Reuters today, reiterating former statements that GM’s Chinese export machine is in full swing: “GM plans to export as many as 130,000 China-made vehicles this year, up from 77,000 vehicles in 2012, driven by demand for its Chevrolet Sail in other emerging markets,” Reuters writes. The Sail, GM’s $9,800 car, goes to “South America and other emerging markets,” Socia told Reuters. According to the wire, GM is China’s second-largest car exporter with 33,623 units shipped overseas in the first four months of the year, behind Chery, which shipped 46,234 units. For the first time in the history of car manufacturing, Chinese carmakers have sold 1 million cars outside of China in 2012, writes Matt Gasnier. GM was glad to help. … [Read more...] about GM Wants To Nearly Double Its Exports From China
When Autoblog was invited to one of those hurried and harried press conferences at the Shanghai Auto Show, and asked GM China president Bob Socia about car exports from China to America, they were told: “It could very well happen. It could very well happen. You know, I’m not sharing any plans with you, but we try to keep open as to what makes sense … We’re open to be doing that. There’s no reason why we can’t be exporting to the States.” We gave the matter short shrift. We know China-made Honda Fits are in Canada and elsewhere without giving people fits. Also, we have been following GM China’s export activities for many years. GM started exporting the Sail from China in 2010, making it “the first time a world-class automaker will export from China a model it developed in the country,” as the Nikkei said. Actually, it was GM that got China’s heretofore sputtering auto export machine going. For some folks, like Chris … [Read more...] about GM Denies Car Exports From China, Grows Nose
Once, while I was reading prewar classic car restoration expert David Greenlees’ fine site The Old Motor, there was an article about a custom 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom with round doors, a museum piece. The article mentioned how the body was the second one fitted to that chassis as the first, a custom Hooper body, was apparently rejected by the lady who ordered it, “Mrs. Hugh Dillman of Detroit, MI.”. The name rang a bell so I looked it up on a search engine and every result on the first page said the same thing, that the Rolls had been ordered by Mrs. Dillman but for some reason she didn’t like it and never took delivery. Other than “Mrs. Hugh Dillman of Detroit, MI.”, pretty much repeated verbatim, there wasn’t much info on Mrs. D. Digging deeper I found out why her name was familiar. Hugh Dillman was Anna Dodge’s second husband. Her first hubby was Horace Dodge, who along with his brother John founded the Dodge Brothers car company. All … [Read more...] about Audi Kicks Off “Heritage” Ad Campaign With Historic Detroit Poet Used In Chrysler’s Imported From Detroit Ads