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Obama Plans New Trade Complaint Against Chinese Car Parts

But China files its own trade complaint.

by on Sep.17, 2012

President Barak Obama during a visit to a GM plant - along with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

President Barack Obama is expected to announce that the White House will file a new trade complaint accusing China of dumping cars and car parts into the U.S. market.

The President is expected to detail the new complaint, which will be filed with the World Trade Organization, during a campaign stop in Ohio later today.  The news could shore up his standings in Ohio, a state heavily dependent upon automotive manufacturing.  Obama has come under fire from GOP challenger Mitt Romney for not taking a stronger stand on Chinese trade and intellectual property infractions.

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China actually beat the U.S. to the punch, however, filing its own charges with the WTO. on Monday, alleging that the U.S. has unfairly enacted duties on 30 types of subsidized goods imported from the Asian giant ranging from kitchen appliances to tires to wind towers.

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Auto Boom Brings Challenges to China

The world’s largest car market discovers the perils of petroleum imports, smog and traffic.

by on May.26, 2011

A days-long traffic jam on the G-110 toll road into Beijing underscored the perils of China becoming a nation on wheels.

The People’s Republic of China faces a huge dilemma when it comes to cars.

On the one hand the swift rise of the Chinese automobile industry has brought jobs, investment and a huge measure of prestige to China over the past decade. Only last month, the Shanghai Auto Show eclipsed the New York Auto Show by attracting senior executives from Daimler AG, Toyota and Volkswagen, among others.  China’s hunger for new vehicles probably won’t peak for another decade, according to most estimates.

China is now the world’s largest automotive market, surpassing the United States and is unlikely to slip back into second place, noted Columbia University economics professor Jeffrey Sachs during a panel discussion at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.

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However, Gao Honfeng, China’s vice minister of transport, told that same forum that China is acutely aware of the environmental and other hazards posed by the rapid development of its automotive culture.

There’s been a significant price tag for putting the nation on wheels: most notably in the form of paralyzing traffic jams, choking smog and a costly dependence upon foreign sources of energy.

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Optimism Rules at Shanghai Motor Show

How far is up for the world’s largest auto market?

by on Apr.19, 2011

Ford may be an also-ran in China, but it plans to catch up quickly with a range of new products.

The astonishing growth of the Chinese appetite for new cars and trucks is showing no sign of slowing down, good news for the scores of automakers gathered for this year’s Shanghai Motor Show.

The industry saw sales surge by 32%, last year –after a 2009 gain of 46% — to a global record of 18 million vehicles, leading makers foreign and domestic to announce billions of dollars in investments – and scores of new products – during a media preview that has drawn an estimated 10,000 journalists and top executives from around the globe.

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“I know this is the most exciting auto show I’ve ever been too,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co. executive in charge of the company’s global marketing effort.

Farley compared the energy unleashed by the show’s opening day to the excitement created by General Motors’ once popular Autoramas, a highlight of the U.S. car boom of the 1950s.

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VW and Chinese BYD Partner on Electric Vehicles

Companies sign memorandum of understanding to explore lithium ion batteries and vehicles.

by on May.26, 2009

BYD showed a prototype plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit during January of 2008.

BYD showed a prototype plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit during January of 2008.

Senior executives at Volkswagen AG and privately-held BYD have signed a memorandum of agreement to “explore the options for partnership in the area of hybrids and electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries.”

BYD, short for Build Your Dreams, showed a prototype plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit during January of 2008. The company claimed at that time that the complicated series and parallel hybrid drive system would add about $6000 in cost to one of its small sedans. The fledgling Chinese automaker is a major international supplier of rechargeable batteries for cell phones, computers, digital cameras, and personal electronics. U.S. based Berkshire Hathaway has taken a small, 10%, position in the company.

The VW link-up came after a visit by a delegation from the Chinese automaker headed by BYD’s Chairman of the Board of Management, Wang Chuanfu to VW’s Elektrotraktion Technology Center in Isenbüttel, Germany.

Wang and Dr Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen, signed the formal proposal after technical discussions and test drives of a variety of vehicles such as the Golf twinDrive and the prototype for an electric vehicle.

“Volkswagen will consistently expand its successful ‘BlueMotionTechnologies,’ said Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board for Technical Development at VW.  “Hybrids and electric vehicles will play an increasingly important role, of course. Particularly for the Chinese market, potential partners such as BYD could support us in quickly expanding our activities.” Hackenberg personally briefed the Chinese managers.

The Chinese market is closed to outside companies who do not form partnerships with Chinese makers. (more…)