Is China’s tiger about to bite?

Coinciding with the year of the tiger, Chinese OEMs, once having been the butt of all automotive jokes following failed crash tests and poor quality standards, now feel confident enough to give it another shot with a fully-charged line-up. The class of 2022 is almost unrecognisable from those models arriving 15 years ago. Sixty percent of the sino-models arriving at European ports are either BEVs or PHEVs (57,500 new Western European registrations July YTD out of 94,900). Another change is the transit to Europe. No longer are the models sharing ships packed full of cheap electronic goods and plastic children's toys, but are safely secured in dedicated roll-on/roll-off vessels next to the likes of BMWs (iX3) Teslas and Volvos, all made in the world's second-largest economy per GDP. Add those Western models to the equation (as well as the Dacia Spring) and close to 0.5 million Chinese-made cars are expected to enter European roads this year.

Matthias Schmidt

European Automotive Market Analyst @ Schmidt Automotive Research

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) data suggests that it would double the amount that arrived during 2020 (196,883 vehicles).

It would also mean that 2022 may be the first year a balance of payments trade deficit with China, in terms of FBU vehicle movements, will be achieved with 2016 – 2020 all-seeing EU exports to China remaining just below 0.5mn units.

0.2 million passenger car models across all drivetrains will likely arrive in Europe this year from Chinese OEMs.

Between 80,000 and 90,000 are expected to be pure EV and around 40,000 PHEV with the remaining conventionally powered.

Due to that blip on the radar finally showing some movement, we have included a new page dedicated to their progress (page 6).

Alongside the Chinese brands, over 100,000 BEVs have arrived from Chinese shores this year with Western badges on, from the likes of Tesla (ModelY/3), Dacia (Spring) and BMW (iX3), emphasising the confidence the West now has in Chinese manufacturing.

A further 94,600 arrived with Chinese brand badges adorning the vehicles spread over almost 20 brands, from Aiways to Zhidou.

Looking at BEV volumes in more detail the likes of SAIC’s MG brand and Geely’s Polestar accounted for 33,300 of the 37,000 Chinese BEV brand models delivered during the opening 7-months.

Brands such as BYD, Great Wall Motors Ora (BEV) and WEY (PHEV) are looking to increase those ship movements between the two continents during the second half of this year.

Both have announced market entries in the European arena, with BYD presenting a strategic outlook in The Netherlands during August.

Geely’s JVs Smart and Lotus will be next on that export ship list.

A spokesperson for SAIC’s MG told this report that the Shanghai COVID-related shutdown headwinds during the first half of the year are no longer having an impact and the second half of the year is likely to be more plain sailing than the turbulent seas experienced during the first half.

Source: Is China’s tiger about to bite| Schmidt Automotive Research


Matthias Schmidt

European Automotive Market Analyst @ Schmidt Automotive Research
Automotive Analyst with 15 years of experience serving the highest-ranking executives and decision-makers in and around the industry Member of @thefactory Berlin Automotive.

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