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  BMW, Mercedes-Benz lower prices in China after VAT drop
Reuters | 2019/3/19

SHANGHAI -- BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz said they will lower prices in China after the government announced it will reduce the country's value-added tax starting on April 1.   The German automakers each published posts on Chinese social media announcing immediate price cuts for several models. The discounts come as China endures a shrinking market for automobiles as the economy slows.
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  VW CEO draws SAIC complaint over remarks about raising stake in joint ventures
Automotive News China | 2019/3/19

SAIC Motor Corp. expressed disappointment over comments Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess made last week on the possibility of increasing the German automaker's stakes shares in China-based joint ventures.   It is "regrettable" that VW unilaterally commented on important matters regarding shares in its joint ventures in China without consulting local partners, SAIC said in a statement Monday.
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  BYD shores up sales behind EV demand
Automotive News China | 2019/3/19

BYD Co.¡¯s sales rose 2.1 percent to 26,833 in February as robust demand for electrified vehicles more than offset an ongoing sharp decline in gasoline-powered car and light-truck deliveries.   BYD delivered 14,429 plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles last month, a surge of 72 percent, according to company filings. 
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  Dealership stockpiles spike; Changan Ford stores carry 95-day supply
Automotive News China | 2019/3/19

Inventories at dealerships across China surged to a 63-day supply in February from 42 days a month earlier, as new-vehicle purchases slowed during the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday.   The backlog at dealerships marketing domestically built foreign mass-market brands jumped to 67 days from 41 days in January. 
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  Infiniti pulls plug in Europe to focus on China, U.S.
Reuters | 2019/3/19

Infiniti said the exit from western Europe, where import luxury brands continue to struggle, will allow it to focus on an initiative to electrify a good portion of its product portfolio, a top priority for automakers in China.   Infiniti will also dedicate more resources to its SUV lineup in North America and bring five new or significantly redesigned vehicles to China over the next five years.
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  COMMENT
Chinese automakers renew drive to go global
Yang Jian | 2019/3/15

SHANGHAI -- Over the past decade, Chinese carmakers¡¯ exports to emerging markets have thinned to a trickle after key regions such as Russia, Brazil, North Africa and the Middle East encountered economic or social instability.   Now equipped with better technology and a new generation of products, Chinese car brands are regrouping to expand overseas by targeting Europe and a select group of major emerging markets.   Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of  Automotive News China
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  Sales decline accelerates at GM's 2 joint ventures
Automotive News China | 2019/3/15

General Motors is losing market share in China, with its two local joint ventures posting steeper sales declines last month.  Deliveries at SAIC-GM, GM¡¯s passenger vehicle joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., slumped 21 percent to 97,177 in February while sales at SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM's light-vehicle partnership with SAIC, dropped 36 percent to 99,012.
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  Audi mulls hiking stake in FAW, SAIC joint ventures
Reuters | 2019/3/15

INGOLSTADT, Germany -- Audi is reviewing whether to raise its stake in its Chinese joint ventures, the premium brand's China chief, Alexander Seitz, said on Thursday.   China, as part of broader market reforms initiated in 2018, has relaxed restrictions on how much foreign automakers can invest in Chinese joint ventures.  
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  BMW, Audi gain; Mercedes Feb. sales dip
Automotive News China | 2019/3/15

Audi and BMW Group posted sales gains last month, when overall industry volume dipped amid weaker demand during the Chinese New Year holiday, but Mercedes-Benz volume dipped. 
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China's new investment law looms over foreign automakers
Bloomberg | 2019/3/15

China plans to approve new rules for foreign investment in the country this week, a sweeping overhaul of regulations that will affect corporate titans from Ford to Alibaba and Tencent.   Key pillars of the new law will remove a major threat to investors in China¡¯s massive technology sector, while putting thousands of overseas companies on notice they may need to renegotiate joint ventures in China.

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  GM to launch 9 locally produced electrified vehicles in next 5 years
Automotive News China | 2019/3/15

SAIC-GM will introduce nine locally built plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in China from 2019 to 2023 to meet regulatory requirements that seek to reduce emissions.   The vehicles are part of 60 new and freshened models SAIC-GM plans to launch in China during the period. 
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  Ford, Changan slump drags into 2019
Automotive News China | 2019/3/15

Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ford¡¯s passenger vehicle partnership in China, continues to suffer from falling sales.   After plunging 70 percent in January, Changan Ford¡¯s sales plummeted 81 percent to 6,799 in February, according to its Chinese shareholder, Changan Automobile Co. 
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  China customs lifts suspension on Tesla Model 3 imports
Reuters | 2019/3/15

BEIJING -- China's customs authority lifted a suspension on imports of Tesla's Model 3, an official in the authority's news department said Thursday.   "We can confirm that the warning notice on Tesla has been canceled," said the official, who only gave his surname as Tao.
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  Volvo dividend to aid coffers of debt-laden Geely
Reuters | 2019/3/14

Volvo Cars will pay a dividend of 2.0 billion yuan (2.9 billion Swedish crowns and $311 million) after record sales in 2018, with almost all of it slated to boost the coffers of its debt-laden Chinese parent, Geely Automobiles.
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  Light-vehicle sales drop for 8th straight month amid slowing economy
Automotive News China | 2019/3/12

China¡¯s new light-vehicle sales contracted in February for the eighth consecutive month, falling 17 percent to fewer than 1.22 million cars and light trucks, amid slower economic growth.   Domestic economic growth may slow to between 6 and 6.5 percent in 2019 from 6.6 percent in 2018, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang predicted at a national meeting in Beijing. 
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  Great Wall deliveries advance behind pickups and new crossover
Automotive News China | 2019/3/12

Sales at China¡¯s largest light-truck maker, Great Wall Motor Co., continued to pick up in February, advancing 18 percent to 69,037.   The growth was led by the company¡¯s pickups and new compact crossover -- the Haval F7 -- that was launched in November.
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  Geely sales slump 24% in February
Automotive News China | 2019/3/12

Sales at Geely Automobile Holdings, China¡¯s largest passenger vehicle maker, dropped 24 percent to 83,552 last month.   The company blamed the results on the timing of the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday, which started Feb. 4. The holiday, which came earlier than last year, resulted in fewer working days in February, Geely said. 
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  Kia weighs suspending output at No.1 plant in China
Reuters | 2019/3/12

SEOUL -- Kia Motors may halt operations at its No.1 plant in China as part of long-term efforts to enhance competitiveness, a source familiar with the matter said.   After the source spoke to Reuters, Kia Motors said in a statement that the company is reviewing various plans to strengthen production and sales operations in China.
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  Tesla in talks with CATL for big battery order, report says
Bloomberg | 2019/3/12

Tesla Inc. is in talks about ordering rechargeable batteries from Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. to power Model 3 cars the U.S. electric-car maker plans to start assembling at its new factory near Shanghai, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
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  EV startup WM Motor raises another 3 billion yuan
Automotive News China | 2019/3/12

WM Motor, an electric vehicle startup founded by former Volvo Car Corp. China President Freeman Shen, has secured investment of 3 billion yuan ($446 million) from three domestic companies.   VM Motor plans to use the capital for r&d and enhancing customer experience. 
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  Tesla secures major bank loan for Shanghai plant
Reuters | 2019/3/12

Tesla Inc. signed an agreement with lenders in China for a 12-month credit line of up to 3.5 billion yuan ($521 million) for the electric-car maker's Gigafactory in Shanghai.   The loans from China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co. mature in March 2020, Tesla said in a regulatory filing.
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  COMMENT
For Beijing, more to do to unshackle vehicle sales, services
Yang Jian | 2019/3/8

The Chinese government, in a major policy shift triggered in large part by pressure from the Trump administration, last year slashed vehicle import tariffs and started to allow foreign automakers to gain control of local joint ventures.   Now with China¡¯s economy sputtering, Beijing might want to dismantle other regulatory hurdles in the auto industry, especially restraints on the sale of pickups, used vehicles and aftermarket parts and services.   Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of  Automotive News China
>> Read Full Commentary

  BMW plan to export EVs from China on hold amid trade talks
Reuters | 2019/3/8

BMW's ambitions to establish China as a hub for exporting electric vehicles are in limbo because of uncertainty over potential trade tariffs between China and the United States, company executives said.
>> Read Full Story

  Volvo's Polestar 2 rollout threatened by China, U.S. trade dispute
Urvaksh Karkaria | 2019/3/8

Volvo¡¯s Polestar brand expects to launch its first battery-electric sedan in the U.S. by early summer 2020. International trade tensions, however, could tap the brakes on that rollout.   The automaker would not sell the Polestar 2 in the U.S. if tariffs on exports from China continue to rise, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told the     Financial Times   during the Geneva auto show. 
>> Read Full Story

  BAIC sets sights on Europe with electric supercar, crossover
Nick Gibbs | 2019/3/8

GENEVA -- Chinese automaker and EV specialist Beijing Auto will enter Europe soon with its electric Arcfox brand, the company¡¯s chairman said.   The automaker, which has joint ventures in China with Daimler and Hyundai, will first sell an electric supercar and is investigating following that with an electric crossover, BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi told journalists on the sidelines of the Geneva auto show.   
>> Read Full Story

  Nissan, Honda sales dip in February
Automotive News China | 2019/3/8

Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. reported slight sales declines in China for last month.   Nissan deliveries dipped 1.8 percent year on year to 76,745 while Honda sales slid 1.5 percent to 75,907.   For the first two months, Nissan¡¯s deliveries edged down 1.2 percent to 210,679.  Honda deliveries rose 4.5 percent to 212,390 for the two months combined, thanks to an 8.2 percent sales increase in January. 
>> Read Full Story

  Dongfeng-PSA venture's 2018 loss balloons as sales plunge
Automotive News China | 2019/3/8

Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co., a 50-50 joint venture between Dongfeng Motor Group Co. and PSA Peugeot Citroen, lost nearly 3.7 billion yuan ($552 million) in 2018 because of an extended sales slump.   That was about eight times the loss of 465 million yuan the partnership incurred in 2017, according to Dongfeng, a state-owned Chinese automaker. 
>> Read Full Story

  Hyundai may suspend output at China plant as slowdown bites
Reuters | 2019/3/8

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. is considering plans to suspend production at its oldest plant in China, the South Korean carmaker said, as it reels from tumbling sales and overcapacity in its biggest market.   The move by Hyundai, which together with affiliate Kia Motors was the No.3 automaker in China until 2016, highlights the reversal of fortunes of China's auto industry, which suffered its first contraction in decades last year.
>> Read Full Story

  China agrees to Tesla remedy for Model 3 customs dispute, report says
Reuters | 2019/3/8

SHANGHAI -- China's customs authorities have accepted Tesla Inc.'s plan to remedy problems with the clearance of imported vehicles, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.   Caixin,  a Chinese financial publication, reported earlier that authorities had suspended customs clearance for the electric carmaker's Model 3 sedan, citing various irregularities, including improper labeling of the vehicles.
>> Read Full Story

  Nio warns of lower Q1 sales, scraps Shanghai plant
Bloomberg | 2019/3/8

Nio Inc., in another sign China¡¯s auto market is cooling, lowered its outlook for first-quarter deliveries and canceled plans to build a manufacturing plant in Shanghai.   The latest guidance from the Chinese electric vehicle startup prompted at least one analyst to downgrade the company¡¯s stock. 
>> Read Full Story

  Renesas, citing lower China demand, to halt chip output for 2 months
Reuters | 2019/3/8

Automotive chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. plans to halt production at six plants in Japan for up to two months this year as it braces for a further slowdown in Chinese demand, a person briefed on the matter said.    Production at four plants in China and Malaysia may also be temporarily suspended, depending on demand, the source said.
>> Read Full Story
 

TOP 10 HEADLINES
OF THE LAST WEEK
Chinese automakers renew drive to go global

Sales decline accelerates at GM's 2 joint ventures

Audi mulls hiking stake in FAW, SAIC joint ventures

BMW, Audi gain; Mercedes Feb. sales dip

China's new investment law looms over foreign automakers

GM to launch 9 locally produced electrified vehicles in next 5 years

Ford, Changan slump drags into 2019

China customs lifts suspension on Tesla Model 3 imports

Volvo dividend to aid coffers of debt-laden Geely

Light-vehicle sales drop for 8th straight month amid slowing economy

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