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Global View

1Chinese Car Industry

Rural areas to boost new energy sales

  • After a market wobble in 2016, new energy vehicle sales are predicted to ramp up by 51.8% this year in China.

  • The Blue Book of New Energy Vehicles released earlier this month estimates that the annual sales volume for such cars will hit 700,000 vehicles in China.

  • The majority of the newly registered electric vehicles will be sold to lower-tier markets in towns and counties, and the markets in the largest and middle-sized cities will likely contribute smaller portions, according to the document.

  • The China Automotive Technology and Research Center estimated that the most popular electric car products would be those in the budget segments, and they would be more widely accepted in rural areas rather than in urban areas. (China Daily, Aug. 14)

Chinese automakers covet FCA

  • Chinese companies are under government pressure to expand outside China by acquiring foreign companies. FCA may be a perfect target, given that CEO Sergio Marchionne has focused on streamlining the automaker's operations to make it enticing to a buyer, making bold moves such as exiting small cars and sedans and revamping the company's manufacturing footprint.

  • It's unclear which Chinese automaker or automakers are pursuing FCA. According to one source, any sale likely would involve FCA's Jeep and Ram brands, as well as Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat, but would exclude Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

  • Chinese automakers have openly dreamed of cracking lucrative North America for a decade, spending millions to display their vehicles at high-profile U.S. auto shows.

  • They also are under pressure from the government to expand beyond China, one industry expert said. (Automotive News, Aug. 14)

2Automakers & Brands

Jaguar Land Rover deliveries surge in robust luxury market

  • Jaguar Land Rover's deliveries in China continued to surge in July, jumping 34% year on year to 11,636 vehicles as demand for luxury vehicles remained strong.

  • Sales of the three locally produced models - the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport and long-wheelbase Jaguar XFL - totaled 6,673 vehicles, representing 57% of the luxury automaker's total sales.

  • Through July, the company's China sales totaled 78,739 vehicles, up 27% from the same period of last year. (Automotive News China, Aug. 15)

Lexus optimistic on continued China expansion

  • Lexus, the luxury unit of Toyota Motor, is confident that it will reap steady sales growth in China this year, encouraged by its strong performance in the first seven months of 2017.

  • Tetsuya Ezumi, executive vice-president of Lexus China, said the automaker sold 71,564 cars in the country from January to July, surging 27% on a year earlier.

  • Ezumi attributed the robust growth largely to Lexus' upgraded lineups. In addition, Lexus' strategic shift from "a conventional luxury brand to an emotional one with amazing lifestyle experiences" will also help it to boost sales in China.

  • Ezumi said local production is an important topic that Lexus is continuing to examine according to changes in the market and other factors in China. (China Daily, Aug. 14)

BYD sets plug-in EV sales record in July

  • BYD maintained its record-setting plug-in electric car sales again in July, slightly improved on June's result by hitting a new record with 11,207 PEV sales - up 11% year-over-year.

  • After seven months, BYD is at nearly 46,000 deliveries, so the 100,000-unit level for 2017 sales is well within range if the company stays on its recent pace.

  • The most important plug-in inside BYD's lineup has become the new Song, which is actually available in both all-electric and plug-in hybrid options. More than 6,500 electrified Songs were sold in July. (InsideEVs, Aug. 15)