SHANGHAI -- Under Chinese policy, only plug-in hybrids, "pure" electric vehicles and fuel-cell powered vehicles are eligible for government subsidies. Conventional hybrids such as the Toyota Prius don't qualify. Because of the lack of incentives, no automaker produces conventional hybrids in China. Luxury brands such as Lexus and Audi import some hybrids, but they sell very few. But the situation is changing. To meet tough fuel economy targets set by Beijing for 2020, automakers will have to add conventional hybrids to their lineups. Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
SHANGHAI -- Volkswagen Group plans to launch more than 20 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in China over the next few years. "In the near future, Volkswagen will be offering Chinese drivers more than 20 NEVs, from small cars to large-sized SUVs, from plug-in hybrids to pure electric cars," said Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen Group China.
Tesla Motors Inc. car owners in Shanghai can register their electric vehicles for free after the city exempted them from paying $12,000 for a license plate. About 400 Tesla owners in Shanghai have received the free plates as part of the city's efforts to promote the adoption of EVs and plug-in hybrids, according to Ma Jing, a vice director of the municipal government's economy and information commission.
SHANGHAI -- China wants domestic companies to buy more locally made robots to lift productivity, but industry insiders have warned its policies are overstimulating the market and that robot manufacturers were "coming up like mushrooms." Government officials, worried that productivity growth may have turned negative since 2009, see the promotion of automation as a policy that will increase efficiency.
SHANGHAI -- Volkswagen Group's joint venture with China FAW Group Corp., FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co., will recall 270,635 Audi A4 variants in China because of an airbag software problem, China's quality watchdog said. The source of the airbags was not immediately clear. The recall coincides with a lawsuit against Takata Corp., a Japanese company whose potentially defective airbags have led to the recall of millions of vehicles.
China is trying to finish drafting a policy by year end that would let new players produce electric vehicles in the country, an official with the nation's top planner said. The National Development and Reform Commission is working on the project following the cabinet's mandate to support innovative companies in developing new-energy vehicles, according to Wu Wei, an official with the commission's department overseeing industry planning and policy drafting.
BYD Co. signed an agreement on Monday with the government of north China's Hebei province to build electric buses and parts for the vehicles in Chengde city. BYD's investment in the assembly and parts plants will total 2 billion yuan ($327 million). The company did not indicate when it would build the factories.
SHANGHAI -- SAIC Motor Corp., which makes cars jointly with General Motors and Volkswagen AG, posted its weakest quarterly performance in a year as sales in the world's largest auto market slow. Net income at China's biggest automaker, which sells one of every four vehicles in the country, rose 5 percent to 6.84 billion yuan ($1.12 billion) from 6.53 billion a year earlier, SAIC said in an exchange filing on Thursday.
WUHAN -- Not long ago, the oft-awkward styling of China's domestic brands was the laughingstock of auto shows. Homegrown carmakers struggled with young designers who might not have even had driver's licenses. Or they farmed out work to overseas studios. The result was often a hodgepodge of clashing looks. Now, Chinese brands are changing tack and bringing experienced foreign talent in-house to mentor their fledgling programs.
SHANGHAI -- Volkswagen Group faces nationwide protests in China after car owners were unsatisfied with its handling of a recall to fix a possible suspension defect. The automaker will call back 581,090 New Sagitar and Beetle vehicles in its biggest market to affix metal plates to the rear torsion crank axle, which will stabilize the vehicles and emit warning noises in case of cracks, VW said this month.