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Chinese brands seek to succeed in Western Europe with EVs

Auto News - Published on Wed, 12 Dec 2018

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Auto News reported that no Chinese brand has succeeded in distributing vehicles in Western Europe, but that may soon change as several Chinese companies are preparing to crack the market with electric vehicles. On the sidelines of an event organized by US marketing consultancy Ries & Ries last week in Shanghai, Michael Ning, vice president of Great Wall Motor, told Automotive News China, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe, that his company expects to launch EV sales in Western Europe in late 2020 or 2021.

The first product Great Wall, a major private light-vehicle maker in China, will bring to Europe is a four-seat small sedan, which will be marketed under the company’s Ora EV brand.

The Ora R1 electric car was designed to meet European standards for city commuting. With a range of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles), it will go on sale in China on Dec. 18 with a starting price of 61,800 yuan (USD 8,970) after government subsidies, according to Ning.

Aside from Great Wall, at least two Chinese EV startups also plan to sell their products in Western Europe.

In September, Mr Huang Ximing, chairman of Bordrin Motor in Shanghai, told Automotive News China that he had been contacted by a group of European car dealers about marketing his company’s first product, a B-class electric SUV, in Western Europe.

Huang, a former engineer at Ford, said European dealers were impressed by the EV’s long range (550 km), low prices (around 220,000 yuan) and light weight (1.93 tons) compared with similar models from Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

In October, Thunder Power, an EV startup with r&d and production operations in Ganzhou of east China’s Jiangxi province, signed an agreement with the government in southern Belgium’s Wallonia region to construct an assembly plant along with a tech center in the region.

The plant, funded by the Wallonia government, is to start producing an electric car designed for urban consumers in Europe in 2020. Its annual output will increase to 30,000 vehicles in 2021 from 10,000 initially, according to Thunder Power. Details of the electric car have yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile, SAIC Motor, which sells a small volume of gasoline-powered cars in the United Kingdom under the MG brand it acquired 2007, is also seeking to gain market share in other Western European countries with its latest EV -- a battery-powered version of the MG ZS small crossover.

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Posted By : Joykumar Irom on Wed, 12 Dec 2018
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