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BEIJING -- China may provide as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) in government funding to build electric-vehicle charging facilities and spur demand for clean cars, according to two people familiar with the matter. The policy will be announced soon, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The people declined to provide further details.
SHANGHAI -- China's corruption watchdog said Tuesday that it is investigating one former and one current executive at Volkswagen Group's Chinese venture, FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co., for "seriously violating the law." The announcement, posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, identified the two as former deputy general manager Li Wu and Zhou Chun, deputy general manager of the joint venture's Audi sales division.
SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. plans to remodel a car assembly plant belonging to a Chinese partner, reported the Korea Economic Daily -- a move that could pave the way for the South Korean automaker to build a separate factory in western China. Hyundai, which has three factories in eastern China, has said it is keen to build a fourth plant in China's southwestern city of Chongqing that would tap growing demand in western China.
FRANKFURT -- Three German car parts suppliers have been told by China they can no longer manage their Chinese units independently but need to form partnerships with local peers, the CEO of auto parts maker ElringKlinger told a German newspaper. Such a decision, if substantiated, would fit with an increasingly tough stance adopted by China's competition regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission, toward the foreign car industry. It recently began to investigate foreign carmakers following complaints that they were overcharging Chinese customers.
SHANGHAI -- Chinese carmaker BYD Co. posted a 16 percent drop in first-half net profit as sluggish sales of gasoline cars offset a surge in its electric vehicle business. BYD and other Chinese carmakers such as Geely Automobile Holdings and Chery Automobile Co. are losing market share to foreign rivals Volkswagen AG, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. as competition grows in the lower end of China's auto market.
Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest SUV maker, said its net profit decreased 3 percent year on year to 4 billion yuan ($650.1 million) in the first half of this year. The company attributed the decline to weak sedan sales, which plunged 51 percent from a year earlier to 53,053 during the six months. Sedan sales tumbled as a result of Great Wall's strategy to cut sedan output and sharpen its focus on its core SUVs, the company said.
Infiniti, Nissan Motor Corp.'s luxury brand, said its vehicle deliveries in China surged 56 percent last month from a year earlier to 2,300. The company delivered 661 Q50 sedans, 636 QX50 compact crossovers and 488 stretched Q70 sedans. The company didn't disclose sales of other vehicles it sells in China. In the first seven months of this year, Infiniti's China sales soared 116 percent from the same period last year to 16,254.
SUV prices are starting to decline as inventories outstrip demand following a wave of new models introduced in China over the past few years. In July, prices of domestically built SUVs dropped 3 percent year on year, while prices of imported SUVs plunged 9 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, China's price regulator.
Chongqing Lifan Industry Co. plans to build a wholly owned assembly plant in Russia's western state of Kaluzhskaya Oblast. Lifan, a private auto and motorcycle maker, says it will invest 930 million yuan ($150 million) in the plant. The company did not provide further details. Local production in Russia will allow Lifan to qualify for preferential government policies and promote its brand in Russia, the company said.
SHANGHAI -- Sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have surged in China this year. And the companies that are driving the growth in green vehicles are private ones, not state-owned enterprises on which Beijing has placed high hopes. Why are private players well ahead of their state-owned rivals in green-vehicle sales? It all boils down to efficiency. Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.