SHANGHAI -- In China, foreign assembly plants are heavily concentrated along the nation's prosperous coastal areas. But thanks to Beijing's decision last week to lure foreign investment to interior regions, four cities in central and southwest China will emerge as major production centers. Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
DETROIT -- A boutique carmaker led by former General Motors executive Bob Lutz has joined forces with Wanxiang Group -- China's largest automotive supplier -- to bid for Fisker Automotive, people familiar with the matter said. VL Automotive and Wanxiang want to gain control of Fisker through a prepackaged bankruptcy, the sources said.
GUANGZHOU -- Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. says it will spend 2.9 billion yuan ($475 million) to expand production of its Trumpchi cars and develop three new models. The company said 1.7 billion yuan will be used to increase output at its car plant. The remaining outlay will be allocated for the development of three new models code-named the A28, AD2 and A68, according to the state-owned company.
Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest SUV maker, sold 67,000 vehicles in April, up 41 percent from the year-ago month. The company's Hover SUVs enjoyed strong demand in April, surging 87 percent year-on-year to 33,000 units. Sales of Wingle pickups rose 11 percent to 13,000 units, while deliveries of Great Wall sedans increased 14 percent to 21,000 units.
SHANGHAI -- German supplier Continental AG has developed a multimedia navigation system for PSA Peugeot Citroen for use in China. Continental's Multimedia Radio Navigation system debuted in March in Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co.'s stretched C4 compact family car. Dongfeng Peugeot is a joint venture of Dongfeng Motor Corp. and PSA Peugeot Citroen.
BEIJING -- China should refrain from "micromanaging" the automotive industry and allow market competition to spur innovation and weed out weaker automakers, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in a report. The government should focus instead on building a fair and competitive environment and abandon monopolistic polices aimed at creating fewer and bigger automakers, the state-backed research institute said in an annual report on industrial competitiveness released this week.
Ningbo Huaxiang Electronic Co., a major Chinese interior trim supplier, has acquired its German counterpart HIB Trim Part Solutions Group this month for 34 million euros (272 million yuan). HIB, of Mannheim, Germany, supplies premium wood, metal and carbon fiber interior trim to BMW AG, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group.
WUHU -- China Automotive Systems earned 36 million yuan ($5.9 million) in the first quarter, compared with a year-ago loss of 4.9 million yuan, the IHS Supplier Business newsletter reported. China Automotive, which produces power steering components, recorded a 20 percent increase in sales to 595 million yuan. Supplier Business, citing a company statement, said China Automotive's revenues rose on strong sales to Shanghai-GM-Wuling and Brilliance Automotive.
WOLFSBURG, Germany -- Volkswagen Group said its brands sold 250,800 units in China last month, an 11 percent year-on-year increase. VW Group's rise trailed the industry's 13 percent growth in April light-vehicle sales in China. Audi deliveries rose 13 percent, VW brand sales edged up 3 percent and Skoda sales were flat. In the first four months, VW Group sales in China rose 18 percent to 1.0 million units.
Sales of Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co. increased 37 percent in April to 45,303 units on strong sales of new models. The sales growth of PSA Peugeot Citroen's joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corp. significantly outpaced industry sales of light vehicles, which rose 13 percent. Dongfeng Peugeot attributed its robust sales to two models introduced in China this year -- the stretched Citroen C4 and the Peugeot 3008.