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China Car Sales Tumble for 10th Consecutive Month

Downturn comes as US trade war escalates, domestic economy slips.

by on May.13, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai last month.

For much of the past two decades, China’s new vehicle market was the envy of the world, with routine double-digit annual growth approaching triple-digit gains on several occasions – but the numbers were down 14.6% in April, marking the 10th consecutive monthly decline.

At 1.98 million vehicles, China remains solidly in the lead as the world’s largest automotive market, but the downturn raises troubling issues for both foreign and domestically owned brands, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely and Great Wall, impacting industry earnings around the globe.

Global News!

With China locked in an escalating trade war with the United States and the country’s overall economy showing signs of weakness, industry analysts question how soon the car market will show a recovery. The downturn could force automakers to look for ways to export products from increasingly underutilized Chinese plants, according to observers.

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GAC Chairman Says Company Pushing US Entry Back Again

He blamed tariff uncertainty and brand name problem: Trumpchi.

by on Mar.08, 2019

GAC Motor President Yu Jun (center) says the company will be ready to enter the U.S. market in 2020. That entry time has been delayed again to later in the year.

Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group has once again delayed its entry into the U.S. market due to President Donald Trump’s implementation of tariffs as well as the man himself.

During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, GAC officials said they were pushing back their timetable to sell vehicles in America, looking to begin now sometime in early 2020 rather than late 2019.

Product News Now!

However, GAC Chairman Zeng Qinghong told reporters at China’s annual parliament meeting in Beijing Friday that it would be even longer now, not establishing a time frame. He mentioned the uncertainty surrounding tariffs – discussions between the U.S. and China are ongoing – but also something personally tied to the president: his last name, sort of. (more…)

Zotye On Track to Sell Chinese-Made Cars By End of Year

Company has 19 dealers signed up with more to come.

by on Jan.28, 2019

Could this be Zotye's first entry in the U.S. market in later this year? An SUV will be first, the company said.

Zotye Automotive appears poised to win the race to be the first Chinese automaker to sell vehicles in the United States as its lined up 19 dealers to push the company’s first product: an SUV.

The automaker actually sells several types of SUVs in China so given vehicle preferences there and in the U.S. the selection of a sport-ute makes plenty of sense.

News Now!

Perhaps more importantly, Zotye plans to implement “no haggle” pricing for its vehicles. Those prices, according to officials, will be as much as 20% cheaper than other similar models from other brands. They’ll also be able buy the vehicles online. (more…)

GAC Coming in 2020; Chief Blames Delay on US-China Issues

Company working on making vehicles U.S. compliant.

by on Jan.15, 2019

GAC Motor President Yu Jun (center) says the company will be ready to enter the U.S. market in 2020.

The first Chinese automaker expected to make an incursion into the U.S. market has put on the brakes for a little while. GAC Motor is delaying its entry into the U.S. market until 2020, due in part to ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

However, it may not be as simple as the trade climate between the two economic superpowers is too volatile for a Chinese company to set up shop in the U.S. right now.

Global News!

Yu Jun, GAC Motor president, told TheDetroitBureau.com that the automaker was still working on getting its vehicles ready for the U.S. market. He believes they meet regulatory standards now, saying the company was working with U.S. regulatory agencies to ensure compliance. However, he wouldn’t confirm they met U.S. spec yet, preferring to say the will when they come to the U.S. (more…)

Downsized Detroit Auto Show Still Has Some Big Debuts

SUVs, CUVs, even a few sedans and coupes.

by on Jan.13, 2019

The North American International Auto Show will host scads of new vehicle debuts in January for the last time as it moves to June for 2020.

The North American International Auto Show is set to make its last winter run. No, NAIAS isn’t going away. It’s just moving to June in 2020, a definite relief for those who’ve had to trudge down to the Detroit riverfront for the annual event since it went “international” 30 years ago.

The show is a fair bit downsized from its glory days when as many as 70 new products debuted during three packed days of press previews. That said, this year’s event still has some significant, headline-making vehicles set to make a first appearance.

Auto Show News!

And TheDetroitBureau.com has a list of the most important products set to show up in Detroit this year. Check out this preview of the upcoming week’s highlights: (more…)

Detroit Auto Show Moving to June in 2020, Adding Major New Features

Sponsors aim to revive what's been North America’s leading car show.

by on Jul.23, 2018

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyota is shown here revealing the 2019 Camry during this year's NAIAS.

The North American International Auto Show will move from January to June in 2020, a new timeslot that organizers are betting will help revive the flagging momentum of what had long been one of the industry’s most important annual events.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association had signaled its intention of abandoning its traditional, mid-winter schedule, though a switch to October was also under study. But that would have conflicted with other shows in Europe and Asia, the dealer group’s Executive Director Rod Alberts told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive interview.

We Keep You In the Know!

In a background briefing ahead of today’s official announcement, Alberts said one of the advantages of a summer event is the ability to add new functions that expand beyond the confines of Detroit’s sprawling Cobo Hall convention center. “We realized we have to change the show (and) showcase Detroit, too,” said Alberts, who has been running the DADA for the past 28 years.

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GAC Plowing $4.4M into New Detroit-Area R&D Facility

Chinese automaker expects to sell vehicles in U.S. by 2020.

by on Jul.16, 2018

GAC Motor Chairman Feng Xingya said the company will sell SUVs in fourth quarter of 2019.

China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group in China is taking another step forward in its efforts to become the first Chinese automaker to engage in large scale sales in the U.S. with a new $4.4 million R&D facility in metro Detroit.

During the North American International Auto Show last January, the automaker announced its plans to bring vehicles to the U.S., but acknowledged it needed to make some changes to those vehicles to meet U.S. regulations.

Global News!

This new research facility in Farmington Hills, Michigan, helps with that process. The company has just begun preparing the building and filling job openings. The new site is expected to create 62 jobs, according to the company. (more…)

Chinese Automakers Eyeing International Roles

GAC, Geely looking to make an impact globally.

by on Jun.06, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Shufu purchased 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 billion, and expects to partner with them on electrification..

Guangzhou Automotive Corp. or GAC, one of the largest automotive enterprises in China, still plans to move ahead with plans to export vehicles to the United States in 2019 or 2020, a top GAC executive told the annual Global Automobile Forum in Chongqing, China.

Meanwhile Li Shufu, the entrepreneur who developed Holding Group and recently bought 9.9% of Daimler AG, said he expects to collaborate in the future with the German automaker.

News Now!

Li Shao, GAC vice president, said GAC is fully committed to becoming an international company. The objective of becoming an international company was one of the company’s objectives when it was first organized back in the 1980s, Li said. But very from the very beginning, GAC’s management understood it had a great deal to learn if it wanted to succeed and it also had to do well in China, Li said. (more…)

China Tariffs on Hold as Trade War Talk Recedes

Two countries putting a deal together.

by on May.21, 2018

The Trump administration is backing away from proposed tariffs on a variety items imported from China.

The announcement by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin that the Trump administration will suspend any plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports lowers the risks for American and European carmakers, fearing the impact of a trade war.

Companies such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which export American-made vehicles to China, will apparently be spared, facing the substantial tariffs the Peoples Republic of China had proposed imposing on vehicles exported from the United States.

Financial News!

Importers of vehicles from China, such General Motors, also will be spared American tariffs on vehicles from Chinese factories. (more…)

In Final Move as FCA CEO, Marchionne Expected to Order Massive Shift in Product, Manufacturing Plans

Small Fiat models likely to be dropped, brand may leave U.S.

by on May.18, 2018

Could FCA pull the Fiat brand out of the U.S.?

As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepares for life beyond its founding chief executive, CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to announce major shifts in the automaker’s product and manufacturing strategy, according to several reports.

During a June 1 meeting meant to reveal FCA’s next five-year plan, the 65-year-old executive reportedly will announce that the Fiat brand will abandon two of its base models, the Punto and Mito, while shifting emphasis to more up-market models. The automaker also will put more emphasis on its Jeep brand which, Marchionne said during the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, could help Fiat Chrysler double its earnings during the next five years.

The Last Word!

One of the key questions hanging over the Euro-American automaker may not be resolved during a meeting bringing together analysts and journalists from around the world: who will replace Marchionne as CEO? He has dropped hints that his successor will come from FCA’s current top management ranks, which means no women or outsiders are in the running.

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