CHINA NEWSLETTER May 14 2019
 
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Light-vehicle sales nosedive 18% in April
Automotive News China
New light-vehicle sales in China keep sinking with demand slumping nearly 18 percent to roughly 1,575,000 in April. It was the tenth straight month that new-vehicle deliveries declined as economic growth continues to slow across China.
Tensions over the escalating China-U.S. trade battle and shifts in consumption trends are also weighing on new car and light-truck demand.


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Sales at GM's 2 joint ventures plunge in April
Automotive News China
General Motors' two China joint ventures suffered their steepest decline in sales this year in April as the country's new-vehicle market continues to contract amid slower economic growth. Deliveries at SAIC-GM, GM's passenger vehicle joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., plunged 27 percent to 125,504 in April, according to SAIC, a Shanghai-listed company.
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Geely's Lotus to hire 200 engineers for U.K. expansion, report says
Bloomberg
Sports carmaker Lotus is hiring 200 additional engineers as it looks to accelerate a turnaround plan bankrolled by China's Geely, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Under a strategy to triple production to 5,000 vehicles a year, the unprofitable company is also opening an engineering center in the Midlands, in central England, the first time it has expanded beyond its Norfolk home, according to the report.

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China raises tariffs on U.S. exports as trade battle escalates
From wire reports
BEIJING -- China said on Monday it would impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods, striking back in its trade war with Washington shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump warned it not to retaliate. China's finance ministry said it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent on 5,140 U.S. products on a target list worth about $60 billion. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1.
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Audi sales slump; Mercedes-Benz deliveries edge up
Automotive News China
Sales at Audi, the largest luxury car brand in China last year, turned south in April after mild gains in the first three months. The Volkswagen Group luxury brand delivered 46,364 vehicles last month, a drop of nearly 12 percent from April 2018.By contrast, Mercedes-Benz succeeded in maintaining sales growth last month with deliveries rising 0.8 percent to 57,707.
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Dealership stockpiles rise to 2-month supply in April
Automotive News China
Average inventory levels at dealerships across China rose to a 60-day supply in April, up from a 54-day supply the previous month, as new-vehicle sales continued to wane. Stores distributing domestic Chinese brands saw their stockpiles reach 77 days in April, a jump from 63 days in March, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association.
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SAIC opens Indian plant for MG brand
Automotive News China
SAIC Motor Corp. launched MG output at its Indian plant in a bid to gain a foothold in the local market. The factory, located in Halol city in the Indian state of Gujarat, can initially produce 80,000 vehicles a year, according to MG Motor India, SAIC's Indian subsidiary.
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BAIC seeks to buy 5% Daimler stake, report says
Reuters
BEIJING -- BAIC Group is seeking to buy a stake of up to 5 percent in Daimler as a way to secure its investment in Mercedes-Benz' Chinese manufacturing company, Beijing Benz Automotive, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. BAIC informed Daimler of its intention to buy a 4-5 percent stake in the German maker of Mercedes-Benz light vehicles earlier this year, two of the three sources said.
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Great Wall, BYD continue growth
Automotive News China
Great Wall Motor Co. and BYD Co. were the only two major domestic Chinese light-vehicle makers to buck the auto market's broad downturn in April. Deliveries at Great Wall, China's largest light truck maker, rose 2.5 percent to 83,838 last month on demand for two compact crossovers under the Haval brand.
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 TOP 10 HEADLINES
OF THE LAST WEEK

Vehicles with 48-volt systems poised to thrive despite EV hype

U.S. hikes tariffs on China-made auto parts, other goods

Geely Auto sales fall as volume at mass-market brand softens

Honda sales surge, Nissan deliveries dip in April

JAC pollution control devices face Beijing scrutiny

In Germany, auto suppliers downbeat as China-U.S. trade standoff escalates

Dongfeng-Nissan exec hired to lead Ford brand's sales in Greater China

BMW hikes X3 output in China, U.S., mitigating fallout from tariffs

China's robocars are being lapped by U.S. rivals

FCA integrates production, sales at GAC venture



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