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China Shuts Down Autonomous Testing on Highways

Government finalizing rules for testing self-driving vehicles.

by on Jul.20, 2016

No Teslas will be running on Autopilot in China as the government has just issued a moratorium on on-highway testing.

The Chinese government has seen enough and the only autonomous vehicle testing activity it’s going to allow for now near the public is self-parking.

Officials warned automakers that there should be no on-road testing of self-driving vehicles until the rules for those exercises are finalized. Currently, the Ministry of Information Technology and police have an early draft of potential regulations, but nothing has been finalized, said She Weizhen, head of the ministry’s auto department, recently. There is no deadline set for when those rules should be ready, according to Bloomberg News.

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China’s move comes as the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced plans to release new guidelines for the ongoing development of self-driving vehicles later this summer. (more…)

GM Sales in China Rise in June

Buyers in world's largest market still gobbling up SUVs and MPVs.

by on Jul.07, 2016

GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien reported that the company's sales were up 11.2% in June.

General Motors continued to expand sales across China in the ongoing contest for position atop the world’s largest market for new vehicles.

GM and its joint ventures reported record June deliveries in China of 273,563 units, which was up 11.2% on an annual basis. The Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands had their best June ever.

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Its strong performance in June enabled GM to set a first half record for deliveries in China. Demand was up 5.3% from the first six months of 2015 to 1.81 million units. (more…)

China Raises Red Alert on Pollution

Government orders changes to clean air.

by on Dec.10, 2015

The pollution in China has gotten so bad due, in part, to scenes like this that the government implemented its Red Alert protocol.

Carmakers have been feeling the pinch from the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has brought the growth of new car sales in China back towards earth.

But the first ever “Red Alert” pollution curbs have been ordered in the sprawling Beijing area, which contains more residents than most European countries or American states. The anti-pollution order included curbs on everything from the outdoor barbecues used by street vendors to giant factories and motorists, who have had to park their vehicles on alternate days much as drivers do in heavily polluted mega-cities, such as Mexico City.

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Pollution in Beijing is hardly new phenomena. In fact, the BBC reported a survey of the air around the U.S. Embassy in the center of Beijing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the air around the embassy compound could be considered healthy 49 % of the time. (more…)

Tianjin Disaster Locks Down Toyota China Production

Plant remains closed as detoxification efforts continue.

by on Aug.18, 2015

Thousands of burnt out vehicles sit charred in after an explosion in Tianjin, China. Toyota's plant there remains closed.

The explosions in Tianjin, China, over the weekend that wiped out thousands of vehicles stored nearby are now wiping out thousands of vehicles yet to be built for Toyota, which has a plant in the area.

The facility, which it operates with partner FAW, remains closed as an evacuation order for the area remains in effect until Aug. 19. Chinese authorities are working to clean up the remnants of the blasts, including detoxification efforts due to the chemicals involved.

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The explosions happened at plant owned by Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics Co. Ltd., which has a history of violating rules related to international shipping, according to reports. The blasts killed 114 people and injured 700 more. More than 70 people are still missing, according to Bloomberg. (more…)

Massive Explosion Torches 8,000 Vehicles in China

Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia, Renault, Toyota suffer losses.

by on Aug.13, 2015

Thousands of charred vehicles after two explosions in Tianjin, China, wiped out 8,000 vehicles and injured more than 700 people and killed 50.

More than 7,500 vehicles went up in flames in the Chinese port city of Tianjin after two massive explosions at a nearby factory that killed 50 people and injured 700 more. The cause of the explosions is unknown at this time.

About 4,000 Hyundai-Kia vehicles, 2,750 Volkswagens and 1,500 Renaults that were waiting to be loaded and shipped from the port were destroyed, according to multiple reports.

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Toyota also lost an unknown number of vehicles in the explosion, a Toyota spokesman told Automotive News, adding two employees at a nearby Toyota dealership were also injured by broken glass, but no one was killed. (more…)

GM’s Sales Dip in China in May

Decline marks second month in a row for falling sales.

by on Jun.04, 2015

While Buick sales were down 12.9% in China last month, the brand's best-sellers were the Excelle XT and GT.

General Motors’ sales in China dipped for the second consecutive month under the weight of increased competition from domestic and international brands, model changeovers and the slowing pace of economic growth in China.

GM and its joint ventures sold 252,567 vehicles last month in China, which was down 4% year over year. The big driver was model changeovers for several models combined with the phasing out of older ones. The company’s May retail sales reflected improved mix of SUVs and MPVs, which were up a combined 21.8%, plus a 10.9% increase in sales of Cadillac luxury models.

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For the first five months, GM and its joint ventures had record retail sales in China of 1,472,186 vehicles, an increase of 5.1% on an annual basis. China is one of the major pillars of post-bankruptcy GM and of vital importance to the company’s future. (more…)

GM Sets New October Sales Record in China

Lincoln expanding footprint there as economy begins to cool.

by on Nov.10, 2014

General Motors hit an October sales record of 291,371 vehicles in China.

General Motors routinely sell more cars in China than it does in the United States and October was no exception as GM and its joint ventures delivered 291,371 vehicles to customers in China last month, setting a new October record.

By comparison, GM sold 226,000 vehicles in the U.S. in October.

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GM also got some new competition in China as the Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln division also has begun its push into the Chinese market. Lincoln opened its first three stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. (more…)

Beijing Planning to Convert Taxi Fleet to Electric

Public outcry over poor air quality driving change.

by on Oct.16, 2014

Beijing officials are attempting to convert the city's fleet of 46,000 taxis to EVs, like this BYD e6 cab.

Facing public pressure to reduce some of world’s nastiest urban air pollution, the municipal government in Beijing is moving to turn Chinese capitols taxi fleet green.

The objective is to convert Beijing’s 46,000 taxis into electric vehicles over the next three to four years, according to Zhang Xiyong, vice president of China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Group.

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During a discussion at the Global Automotive Form in Wuhan, Zhang said public pressure through social media prompted Beijing’s municipal government to order the overhaul of the city’s taxi fleet. (more…)

Chinese Car Sales Slow

Will that encourage Chinese automakers to shift focus to the U.S.?

by on Oct.15, 2014

A Chinese ad for the stretched Volvo S60L represents a possible change in how makers are dealing with slowing Chinese auto sales.

China’s once red-hot automotive market appears to be cooling down along with the rest of the Asian nation’s economy – and that could create some serious headaches for manufacturers who have committed billions of dollars in investments for new products and the plants needed to build them.

The slowdown raises the possibility that after long focusing on the booming domestic market, automakers might now need to shift focus to exporting cars to Europe and the U.S. to keep their factories running at full speed. Some observers are speculating that might be one of the reasons why investment guru Warren Buffett has purchased one of the largest auto dealer networks in the U.S.

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The slowdown in China nonetheless needs to be put into perspective. While the pace of growth has slowed substantially from the days when sales soared by as much as 100% annually, China’s car market is still the world’s largest and is growing at roughly the same rate as the U.S. automotive recovery. (more…)

Volkswagen Adds to Sales Lead Over GM in China

by on Oct.13, 2014

GM's sales in China, in which Cadillac is critical, are up 11.6%, but still trail Volkswagen's results.

The automotive sales race in China is a neck-and-neck affair, but the Volkswagen Group continues to hold a lead of about 140,000 units over rival General Motors. Other makers that were expecting to see strong results there – namely Ford and Nissan – have fallen off the pace a bit in recent months.

Volkswagen reported its sales have increased 15% to 2.72 million units through Sept. 30, making China the company’s single largest global market. Sales were strong during September when the German maker delivered 2.72 million units in China, marking a 15.2% increase.

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GM and its Chinese joint ventures reported a 15.2% increase in September as well. For the first nine months, GM’s sales totaled 2.58 million vehicles, up 11.6% from the same period a year earlier. (more…)