Chinese Automakers Tap Into European Demand With NEV Edge
Wei Wen
DATE:  Feb 23 2022
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Chinese Automakers Tap Into European Demand With NEV Edge Chinese Automakers Tap Into European Demand With NEV Edge

(Yicai Global) Feb. 23 -- Chinese carmakers, and particularly electric ones, are eyeing the European market for increased brand recognition in the emerging new energy vehicle market.

If a Chinese car company can gain a firm foothold in Europe, a developed auto market, it will increase its revenue and profit, as well as form a brand advantage, Zhang Xiang, an auto industry analyst, said to Yicai Global.

"Some Chinese carmakers have realized that developed markets not only bring sales volume to them, but also help improve their entire business systems and professionalism,” Yang Junling, director of SAIC Maxus’ overseas business department, told Yicai Global.

The advantage is based on high requirements. The European Union has the most stringent automotive certification standards in the world, and it requires high technical strength for an automaker to meet these standards, said a technical worker at a car company.

For electric vehicle firms, the advantage is about timing. "This is the best opportunity. If you don’t get in now, there will be no more chances," said a manager of a Chinese carmaker’s European unit.

Once European auto giants such as Volkswagen complete their transformation and develop electric vehicles, Chinese firms' advantage may no longer exist, the manager further explained. The window of opportunity is expected to be extremely short, the person added.

Shanghai-based SAIC Motor has introduced four electric models, including MG ZS EV, EHS, Marvel R, and MG5 Electric, in Europe.

Chinese makers of gas-powered and electric cars are setting up local units in Europe to build credible brands in the continent. For example, Great Wall Motors and Lynk & Co have established European subsidiaries with business covering research and development, sales, as well as management.

The expectations are big. SAIC predicts its sales of MG and Maxus models in Europe will reach 120,000 units this year. Last year, the company's sales of MG models reached 21,000 units, a threefold increase compared to 2020. "We will triple again this year,” Liu Xinyu, deputy general manager of SAIC Europe, said at a media event on Feb. 17.

SAIC will launch its EH32, a pure electric model developed for the global market, in Europe this year. The project was designed for the European market from the beginning, an insider told Yicai Global.

Other brands are making plans too. Dongfeng Motor Group’s electric brand Voyah recently announced its European entry with its first stop in Norway. Great Wall will soon open brand experience centers in Munich and Berlin. New energy vehicle maker Nio intends to enter several European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark this year.

Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi


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Keywords:   New Market,Europe,Automobile,New Energy Vehicle,Industry Analysis