CHINA NEWSLETTER March 22 2019
 
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For global automakers, the urgent but delicate need to take control of China JVs
Yang Jian
SHANGHAI -- Now that Beijing has promised to relax limits on foreign stakes in vehicle manufacturing and marketing joint ventures, it's time for global carmakers seeking to gain control of Chinese joint ventures to launch formal talks with local partners. Delaying such talks could only create bad blood between partners, add complexity to future talks and undermine operating flexibility at a time of rapid change in China's auto industry. Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.

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Geely Auto promises more models to support sales in uncertain market
Reuters
BEIJING -- Geely Automobile Holdings will invest more in new-energy vehicles and higher-end models after forecasting flat sales in 2019 because of uncertainty about domestic light-vehicle demand. Geely, part of Geely Group, which owns Volvo and a small stake in Daimler, sold 1.5 million cars last year, 20 percent higher than in 2017. However, it projects sales will be mostly flat this year as the country's giant auto market struggles with slowing economic growth and more cautious consumers.
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Ghosn's successor rolls back Nissan's $9 billion China plan
Bloomberg
Carlos Ghosn went all-in on China by approving a plan to invest $9 billion, yet his successor at Nissan Motor Co. appears to be rolling that back amid signs the world's biggest car market is beginning an extended downturn. Nissan is cutting a future target for China car sales by about 8 percent, people familiar with the matter said. Nissan and Dongfeng Motor Corp. now forecast their joint venture will sell 2.39 million vehicles in 2022, the end of the current midterm plan. That's a reduction of more than 200,000 units from the previous target, the people said.

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Evergrande to start making electric vehicles in June
Reuters
Chinese property company Evergrande Group will start producing its first electric vehicles in June as part of a goal to become the world's largest new-energy vehicle company within the next three to five years, according to its chairman. Hui Ka Yan made the comments at a conference in the eastern city of Tianjin, according to a statement published on the company's website.

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Volvo opens headquarters for Asia Pacific in Shanghai
Automotive News China
Volvo Car Corp. opened a new headquarters for Asia Pacific in Shanghai intended to enhance the Swedish brand's operations in the region. The research, engineering, design and administrative hub will strengthen its capability to ensure sustainable business growth in Asia Pacific, with China as the core market, Volvo said.
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Rolls-Royce sees record China deliveries even as market cools
Bloomberg
Rolls-Royce predicts record sales in China this year and is confident it can navigate the world's biggest auto market's worst slowdown in a generation. The ultraluxury unit of BMW Group sees strong demand from wealthy clients such as entrepreneurs and celebrities who aren't as affected by a slowing economy as the broader consumer base, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Shanghai.
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Mobility service provider Ucar to acquire control of Borgward
Automotive News China
Chinese car-sharing and ride-hailing service provider Ucar will acquire a 67 percent stake in Borgward, the German SUV brand revived by Beijing truckmaker Beiqi Foton Motor Co., for 4.11 billion yuan ($614 billion). Ucar is buying the majority stake from consultant Changsheng Xingye Enterprise Management Advisory Co., Ucar said.
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Volvo to add in-car sensors to prevent drunken driving
Reuters
Swedish automaker Volvo hopes to reinforce its reputation for safety-first driving by installing cameras and sensors in its cars starting in the early 2020s, monitoring drivers for signs of being drunk or distracted and intervening to prevent accidents. The safety features, detailed at a briefing in Gothenburg, Sweden, that fleshed out plans outlined this month, mark another step by Volvo toward its pledge to eliminate passenger fatalities.
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Tesla sues former engineer now at Chinese startup for theft
Reuters
Tesla sued a former company engineer, claiming he copied the source code for its Autopilot technology before joining a Chinese self-driving car startup in January. The EV maker is also suing four other former employees for stealing proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations.
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 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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