Chinese Automaker Plans Electric Car Production In South Africa

2018 VW Lavida Debuts In Beijing With Oh So Familiar Design

Peter Fleet, president of Ford Motor's Asia and Pacific operations, said the company already planned to sell electric cars in China through a joint venture under an low-priced local brand that would not carry its famous blue oval logo. It also stated that it will also introduce a new electric vehicle brand with an alliance with a local partner.

The partnerships' technology investments in the next five years will total €15bn, Jochem Heizmann, head of VW's business in China, said on Tuesday at a new-model presentation in Beijing. "At the end, this limits competition, this limits innovation". In recognition of this, VW, The world's largest auto manufacturer plans to restructure its operations, and to establish a new business unit dedicated to expanding the role of electric and autonomous vehicles in China.

At the show, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it will introduce 10 new EVs in the country by 2020, including plug-in hybrid EV versions of its Corolla and Levin passenger cars in 2019 and a battery electric vehicle model in 2020.

Electrics are forecast to account for 35 to over 50 percent of automakers' China sales by 2025.

Tesla is doing its part by bringing the Model 3 to the show, according to pictures of their booth that leaked on Chinese websites ahead of the start of the show tomorrow. Their popularity is paying for development of electrics, which aren't expected to become profitable for most producers until sometime in the next decade.

Automakers also displayed dozens of gasoline-powered models from compact sedans to luxurious SUVs.

Accounting for some 28.9 million auto sales past year, the Chinese vehicle market could soon match those of the European Union and United States combined. First-quarter sales rose 11.3 percent over a year earlier to 2.6 million, or nearly 45 percent of total auto sales, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

New but fast-growing Chinese auto trail global rivals in traditional gasoline technology but industry analysts say the top Chinese brands are catching up in electrics, a market with no entrenched leaders.

BYD Auto, the biggest global electric brand by number sold, presented two hybrid SUVs and an electric concept vehicle at the show.

Together with joint-venture partner Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC), VW plans to launch an electric sport-utility vehicle under a new brand called "Sol" with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). He said the meeting was no more than "get to know each other".

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