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  Geely profits more than double as Volvo tech boosts sales
Reuters | 2017/3/24

Geely Automobile Holdings posted its biggest profit growth in eight years as improved product design and engineering since its 2010 purchase of Volvo helped propel it to record sales.  For 2016, Geely's net profit more than doubled to 5.1 billion yuan ($741 million), its strongest growth since 2008.
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  Dealer stockpiles spike as China's sales growth flattens
Automotive News China | 2017/3/24

Dealership inventories across China surged to 68 days in February, up from 48 days in the previous month, the China Automobile Dealers Association said.  The association blamed the sharp rise in stockpiles on China's higher sales tax on small vehicles.  In February, dealers that sell domestic brands carried a 76-day supply, up from 58 days in January.
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  Chery files trademark complaint against Mercedes over EV brand
Reuters | 2017/3/24

BEIJING  -- Chery Automobile Co. filed a complaint with China's trademark regulator over Mercedes-Benz's use of the "EQ" name for a line of electric vehicles, throwing up a potential road block for the Daimler AG unit.  A Chery spokeswoman said Thursday that the automaker had filed a complaint with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which it hopes will bar Mercedes from using the name in China.
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  Buick to roll out plug-in hybrids in China
Automotive News China | 2017/3/24

SHANGHAI -- General Motors plans to introduce plug-in hybrid versions of Buick models this year to meet tougher local fuel economy standards.  The plug-in hybrids will be fitted either with GM's 1.0-liter or 1.3-liter turbocharged engine and a nine-speed transmission, the company said.
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  BMW CEO expects China to clarify EV quota
Reuters | 2017/3/24

BMW CEO Harald Krueger expects Chinese authorities to soon clarify the size of a proposed quota for electric vehicles as the German carmaker overhauls its production system to make more zero-emission vehicles.  
"The rules have not yet been finalized," Krueger told journalists at the company's annual news conference this week. "We will react accordingly. We expect clarity in the next weeks rather than months."
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  China to energize used-car market to spur new-vehicle sales
Bloomberg | 2017/3/24

China will take more steps to encourage used-car sales to prompt owners to sell their old vehicles and buy new ones.  The used-car market is likely to continue its rapid expansion, the Ministry of Commerce said. The ministry added that it has not yet decided whether to resume incentives for rural residents to buy new cars.
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  LeEco appoints new CEO for electric-car unit
Automotive News China | 2017/3/24

LeEco, a Chinese technology company, promoted Zhang Hailiang, COO of its electric vehicle division, to be the unit's new CEO.  The appointment took effect on Monday. LeEco promoted Zhang after his predecessor, Ding Lei, resigned for health reasons.
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  COMMENT
Americans won't see Chinese cars at bargain-basement prices
Michael Dunne | 2017/3/21

For years, American consumers have been wondering just when they would witness the arrival of ultralow-priced Chinese cars.  Turns out, maybe never.  Chinese automakers plan to compete in America -- but not on price as the Japanese and Koreans did before them.  Instead, they will market quality vehicles with above-average stickers. Pictured:  Michael Dunne is president of Dunne Automotive.  

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  VW Group deliveries fall 9.6% to start year
Automotive News China | 2017/3/21

Volkswagen AG says combined deliveries of its brands in China fell 9.6 percent year on year to 567,000 vehicles in the first two months.  The company's VW, Skoda and Audi brands all suffered declining sales for the period -- an indication that a recovery will be difficult.
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  Audi, as China sales tumble, defends plan for second JV
Automotive News Europe | 2017/3/21

Audi AG defended a plan that ruined its January sales results, saying the creation of a second joint venture in China would help the company grow.  Volkswagen's premium brand is holding exploratory talks with VW's partner SAIC Motor Corp. to build and sell Audi vehicles via the China dealer network that SAIC uses to sell Volkswagen-brand cars.  But dealers affiliated with Audi's other partnership with China FAW Group Corp. fear the plan will siphon sales away from their own stores.
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  Kia launches 7-seat SUV
Automotive News China | 2017/3/21

Kia Motors Corp. launched its first seven-seat SUV, the KX7, in China to revive weak local sales.  The KX7 has a starting price of 179,800 yuan ($26,050). Its target customers are white-collar buyers ranging from 35 to 45 years old, according to Dongfeng Yueda Kia, Kia's joint venture in China.
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  LeEco's EV business head resigns for health reasons
Automotive News China | 2017/3/21

Chinese technology company LeEco announced Monday that Ding Lei, head of its electric vehicle business, has resigned for health reasons.  LeEco said Ding will be a consultant for its business strategies.  The company has yet to disclose Ding's replacement as chief of its EV business.

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  Ford taps consultant to be Asian strategy chief
Automotive News China | 2017/3/21

Ford Motor Co. hired veteran business consultant Stephen Dyer as its vice president of business strategy for Asia Pacific.  The appointment took effect last week.  "In this role, Dyer will lead the company's strategic initiatives in Asia Pacific across both the core automotive business and emerging mobility initiatives, as well as its joint venture relationships," Ford said.

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  Novelis will supply aluminum to EV startup from Changzhou plant
Automotive News China | 2017/3/21

Novelis Inc., a major global supplier of automotive aluminum, contracted to supply aluminum alloys to NIO, a Shanghai-incorporated electric vehicle startup previously known as NextEV.  Under an agreement the two companies signed, Novelis will supply aluminum alloys to NIO from its plant in the east China city of Changzhou. 
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  COMMENT
Why Beijing Auto can ignore its catastrophic blunders
Yang Jian | 2017/3/17

BAIC Motor Co. has too many models and too many assembly plants, and now the state-owned automaker's China sales have begun to tumble.  In the first two months of the year, sales of Beijing Auto's brands fell 43 percent to 43,500 vehicles. By contrast, industry light-vehicle deliveries in China rose 6.3 percent.  You might expect the company's chastened managers would rush to fix their misguided growth strategy. But you would be wrong.  Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
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  VW brand's China sales slump in first 2 months
Automotive News China | 2017/3/17

Volkswagen brand's sales in China fell 7.6 percent year on year to 441,300 vehicles in the first two months, an indication that the German automaker continues to struggle in its largest market.  For the same period, Audi sales plunged 24 percent to 67,336 vehicles and Skoda sales declined 9 percent to 45,000 -- especially bad results given that industry light-vehicle sales rose  6.3 percent.
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  BMW deliveries advance 15% to start year
Automotive News China | 2017/3/17

BMW AG says China deliveries of BMW and Mini brands increased nearly 15 percent to 92,045 vehicles in the first two months. Despite the healthy sales increase, BMW was unable to keep pace with rival Mercedes-Benz, whose sales for the period jumped 40 percent to 95,076 vehicles.
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  Mazda deliveries rise 5% in first 2 months
Automotive News China | 2017/3/17

Mazda Motor Corp. delivered 40,804 light vehicles in China in the first two months of the year, up 5 percent from the same period last year.  The Japanese automaker lost some market share because industry sales rose 6.3 percent during the same period.
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  Alibaba buys stake in Swiss HUD technology startup
Automotive News China | 2017/3/17

Alibaba Group Holding participated in an $18 million (124 million yuan) round  of funding for Swiss startup WayRay, which is developing a holographic head-up display, the  South China Morning Post  reported.  According to the Hong Kong-based newspaper, WayRay also formed a partnership with an Alibaba-backed carmaker, Banma Technologies. Banma plans to introduce a vehicle equipped with WayRay's augmented reality windshield display in 2018.
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  Uber rival Didi Chuxing opens r&d lab in Silicon Valley
Automotive News China | 2017/3/17

Didi Chuxing opened an r&d center in Silicon Valley, dubbed DiDi Labs, to develop artificial intelligence-based technology for self-driving cars.  The lab will be run by Fengmin Gong but the center's best-known researcher will be Charlie Miller, the cybersecurity expert who successfully hacked and controlled a Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2015.
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  Fuyao Glass to expand production in U.S., Germany and Russia
Automotive News China | 2017/3/17

Fuyao Glass Industry Group plans to spend 1.4 billion yuan ($202 million) to expand production in Germany, the United States and Russia, company CEO Cao Dewang told state-owned  China Daily   newspaper.  Cao said he expects to spend up to 700 million yuan to build an automotive glass factory in Heidelberg, Germany, to supply Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover.

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  China may roll back EV quotas as industry pushes back
Reuters | 2017/3/14

BEIJING  -- China may ease proposed quotas aimed at producing more electric vehicles as Beijing gets pushback from the auto industry over the scale and pace of the plans.  The proposed changes would delay the target date when electric cars and plug-in hybrids must account for at least 8 percent of an automaker's sales.  Under the proposed changes, automakers would have to attain that target in 2019, two auto executives said. 
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  China auto sales rise 8.8% in first 2 months despite higher sales
Reuters | 2017/3/14

BEIJING  -- China's auto sales climbed 8.8 percent year on year in the first two months of 2017, bucking expectations that consumer demand would suffer after Beijing raised its sales tax on small cars.  February sales rose 22 percent from a year ago to 1.9 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers told reporters.
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  Great Wall rethinks Mexico plant under Trump threat
Bloomberg | 2017/3/14

China's biggest SUV maker is reconsidering a plan to build an assembly plant in Mexico that would have made vehicles for the U.S., joining a growing list of automakers reviewing investments after tax threats by President Donald Trump.  Great Wall Motor Co., led by billionaire Chairman Wei Jianjun, may choose the U.S. instead for its first North American plant, General Manager Wang Fengying said in an interview.
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  Ford to start making Lincoln vehicles in China in 2019
Automotive News China | 2017/3/14

Ford Motor Co. plans to start producing Lincoln vehicles in China in late 2019 to boost sales in the market.  The luxury brand's first China-built model will be a new SUV, Ford said, without giving details about the vehicle. The SUV will be produced by Ford's joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., which is headquartered in Chongqing.
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  Import car dealer Sinomach to build EVs
Automotive News China | 2017/3/14

Sinomach Automobile Co., China's largest imported car dealer, plans to produce electric vehicles to diversify business operations.  The plan is to establish an 800 million yuan ($116 million) EV manufacturing plant in Ganzhou  in east China's Jiangxi province, the company said. The EV startup is expected to produce up to 100,000 vehicles a year, according to Sinomach.
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  NextEV plans U.S. launch of self-driving EV in 2020
Automotive News China | 2017/3/14

Chinese electric vehicle startup NextEV plans to introduce electric vehicles in the United States in 2020 as part of its effort to explore the global market. The company announced the plans Friday in Austin, Texas, during the annual South by Southwest film festival.  NextEV  provided no  additional details about the plan.  At the event, the company unveiled a self-driving car dubbed the EVE. 
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  Wanfeng eyes U.S. acquisitions amid trade tensions
Bloomberg | 2017/3/14

Rising trade tensions are pushing Chinese wheel maker Wanfeng Auto Holding Group to seek further acquisitions in the United States to localize production and reduce exports.  The Xinchang auto parts supplier is in talks to buy a machinery company in the United States, said Wanfeng Chairwoman Chen Ailian in an interview. 
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Auto sales rise 8.8% in first 2 months despite higher sales tax
Reuters | 2017/3/10

Auto sales in China grew 8.8 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2017, bucking expectations that consumer demand would suffer after Beijing raised its sales tax on small cars. February sales rose 22 percent from a year ago to 1.9 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) told reporters.

>> Read Full Story

  COMMENT
Hyundai caught in the middle of China's diplomatic feud with S. Korea
Yang Jian | 2017/3/10

SHANGHAI -- At a time when Hyundai and Kia are grappling with stagnant sales and angry dealers in China, the diplomatic feud between China and South Korea could not come at a worse time.  In a bid to protect itself from a North Korean attack, South Korea is installing an anti-missile system supplied by the United States. China has sharply denounced the deployment, fearing it could threaten its own security.  And because South Korea has not backed down, China is retaliating.  Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
>> Read Full Commentary

  Mercedes keeps the heat on BMW, Audi
Automotive News China | 2017/3/10

Daimler AG said sales of its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands in China jumped 40 percent year on year to 95,076 vehicles in the first two months, as the luxury automaker kept the heat on its German competitors.  In February, Mercedes deliveries climbed nearly 42 percent to 36,277 vehicles. Rivals Audi AG and BMW AG have not yet reported February sales. 
>> Read Full Story
 

TOP 10 HEADLINES
OF THE LAST WEEK
Why Beijing Auto can ignore its catastrophic blunders

VW brand's China sales slump in first 2 months

BMW deliveries advance 15% to start year

Mazda deliveries rise 5% in first 2 months

Alibaba buys stake in Swiss HUD technology startup

Uber rival Didi Chuxing opens r&d lab in Silicon Valley

Fuyao Glass to expand production in U.S., Germany and Russia

China may roll back EV quotas as industry pushes back

China auto sales rise 8.8% in first 2 months despite higher sales

Great Wall rethinks Mexico plant under Trump threat

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