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Global View

1Chinese Car Industry

China's vehicle exports maintain robust growth

  • Exports of cars and trucks from China have continued to grow rapidly, rising 19% year on year to around 81,000 vehicles in June, on demand from other emerging markets. 

  • In June, China's passenger vehicle exports surged 26% to roughly 54,000 vehicles, while shipments of commercial vehicles increased 7.2% to approach 27,000 vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

  • For the first six months, China's vehicle exports jumped 26% from a year earlier to approximately 396,000 units. The number includes roughly 273,000 passenger vehicles and 123,000 commercial vehicles. 

  • Most domestic Chinese brands have posted robust exports this year. (Automotive News China, Aug. 1)

Credit policy aims to push production of new energy cars

  • China will soon introduce a dual-credit scheme for gasoline cars' fuel consumption and new energy car production, almost a year after first seeking public opinion about the issue in September 2016.

  • Zheng Lixin, spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a news conference on July 25 that the scheme is undergoing necessary procedures for promulgation and will be released soon.

  • Industry insiders believe the move shows China's commitment to speed up the development of clean vehicles, now that the government is gradually cutting subsidies and withdrawing them completely by 2020. (China Daily, July 31)

2Automakers & Brands

Mercedes-Benz is dropping the B-Class Electric Drive

  • Mercedes-Benz will drop the slow-selling B-class Electric Drive after the 2017 model year as it focuses its electric car efforts largely on the EQ family instead.

  • Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran confirmed the vehicle's demise, telling the media that production would be phased out in the third quarter. There are no details on a replacement, Moran said.

  • Mercedes-Benz will halt B-class Electric Drive assembly in Rastatt, Germany, as it converts the plant to production of next-generation compact vehicles in 2018, Moran said. Mercedes-Benz will continue to produce gasoline- and diesel-powered versions of the B-class hatchback. (Autoweek, July 31)

Audi plans $12 billion in cost cuts to fund EV push, report says

  • Audi aims to cut costs by 10 billion euros ($12 billion) by 2022 to help fund a shift to electric cars as it seeks to move on after the emissions scandal that has shaken the brand and other marques at parent Volkswagen Group, sources close to the carmaker said.

  • Audi plans to bring five new all-electric models to market in the coming years, starting with the e-tron SUV to be built starting in 2018 in Brussels.

  • Despite run-up costs for its EV program, the automaker wants to keep its operating profit margin at 8% a year at least, two sources close to Audi said. Its profit margin in the first half of this year was 8.9 %. (Reuters, July 31)

First Proton-Geely car to roll out by end 2018

  • The first Proton car following the national carmaker's tie-up with Geely will enter the market by end-2018 or early 2019, International Trade and Industry Malaysia Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said. 

  • He said Proton and Geely were curently focusing on the establishment of a plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak, which is set to be the principal and pioneer automotive factory in the country to implement the new manufacturing technology under the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

  • "Geely will facilitate Proton in terms of technology and at the same time assemble its four-wheel drive model, intelligent artificial car and develop their right hand drive technology in Malaysia," he said (The Star Online, July 31)