Chinese EV Makers Gain on Big International Carmakers
Major international automakers such as General Motors (GM) and Volkswagen (VW) may think their electric vehicles (EVs) will keep selling well in China, but they could face a surprise. Chinese domestic carmakers have already taken a big share of the world’s largest car market, where it is estimated that car sales amount to $500 billion each year.
Buyers looking for smart technology
When Beijing office worker Tianna Cheng planned to buy a new car, she chose between three Chinese brands, Xpeng, BYD, and Nio. She did not consider buying foreign cars.
Cheng said that foreign car brands did not have what she was looking for, she wanted an EV able to give her the “comfort” of having a smartphone-like experience in her vehicle. She uses a mobile device to connect to shopping websites and control the windows and music while she is in her car. The 29-year-old said:
“If I was buying a gasoline car, I may have considered foreign brands, but I wanted an EV, and other than Tesla, I saw few foreign brands applying advanced smart technology properly. Foreign brands are so far from my life and lifestyle”
Cheng is one of many Chinese who are buying electric vehicles. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that sales increased in the first four months of year 2022. During that time, the number of electric or plug-in hybrid passenger cars got more than doubled from a year earlier to 1.49 million units. Vehicles with these kinds of technologies represent 23% of China’s passenger car market. However, vehicle sales fell by 12% because of a drop in demand for gasoline cars as well as supply chain issues.
There are almost no foreign brands among China’s top 10 makers of new energy vehicles (NEVs) this year. The only exception is Tesla, which is in third place. All the rest are Chinese brands, including BYD, Wuling, Chery, Xpeng and Nio.