SHANGHAI -- Two powerful Chinese bureaucracies -- the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology -- are considering proposals to relax limits on foreign ownership of automotive joint ventures. Naturally, China's domestic automakers don't like that at all. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, which mainly represents state-owned automakers, has repeatedly voiced strong opposition to the policy move. Should Beijing ease the 50 percent limit on the stake that foreign automakers are allowed to hold in their joint ventures? Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
Volkswagen AG is weighing options to produce vehicles in China for its Spanish Seat brand as part of a broader effort to restore earnings at the company's only unprofitable unit. Seat is examining opportunities for local assembly in China, Seat chief Juergen Stackmann said in an interview this week at the Geneva Motor Show. A time frame for a decision isn't set.
GENEVA -- Chinese upstart Qoros Auto Co. is out to challenge Volkswagen AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and other Europeans on their home turf, signaling a broader push by the country's car manufacturers to target western customers. Qoros, a joint venture between China's Chery Automobile Co. and Tel Aviv-based holding company Israel Corp., introduced the midmarket 3 Hatch in Geneva this week, a year after creating buzz at the show with a sedan, its first model ever.
Sales of Ford Motor Co.'s two Chinese joint ventures jumped 67 percent year-on-year in February to 73,040 units on robust demand for its sedans and crossovers. Last month, sales of Changan Ford Automobile Co. surged 81 percent from a year earlier to 53,274 units, according to the Dearborn, Mich., company.
Volvo Cars' sales in China, helped by the all-new long-wheelbase S60 sedan, rose more than 12 percent year-on-year in February to 4,433 vehicles. The XC60 was the company's best-selling model in China, followed by the S60L sedan.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. will phase out all three of its subbrands and close one-third of its dealerships to focus resources on key models, according to Chinese media. "Going forward, Geely will only use the Geely brand and the three subbrands -- Emgrand, Gleagle and Englon -- will cease to exist," reported Chinese Business Herald, a Shanghai-based daily newspaper.
Li Shufu, the Chinese billionaire chairman of Volvo Cars, said China should allow foreign carmakers to control their operations in the world's largest auto market to encourage competition and bring down prices. "We should let the market decide and form real competition between Chinese companies and foreign companies," said Li, 50, who is also chairman of Volvo Cars' parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.
Chairman Mao Zedong's Red Flag limousine made an appearance at China's annual parliamentary meetings, two years after the car was revived to regain its standing as the ride of the nation's leaders. Though surrounded by dozens of gleaming black Audis, a lone Red Flag limo -- called Hongqi in China -- was parked Tuesday in the lot reserved for senior officials outside the Great Hall of the People's north gate in Beijing.
SHANGHAI -- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has purchased British electric automaker Emerald Automotive to produce taxis, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the companies. Geely did not disclose the purchase price, but Emerald said Geely has agreed to spend $200 million (1.2 billion yuan) over the next five years to develop new EV models, according to the newspaper.
BIRMINGHAM, England -- The most credible car yet to emerge from China that I have seen wears an unlikely badge: MG. Recently launched in Great Britain, the MG3 hatchback -- a five-door, Ford Focus-sized compact -- may be the first car made in China that is ready for prime time in North America.