The world’s largest auto market is about to catch up with western ones, as both offshore makers and native brands rush to introduce hybrids during the next few years.
The market is expanding elsewhere so it is no surprise that carmakers and component suppliers in the Chinese automotive industry are preparing to triple the number of hybrid offerings, according to the latest research from the Frost & Sullivan auto consultancy.
Only six hybrid models were available in the market at the beginning of last year. However, new models from both native and global makers will see the number increase to at least 19 by 2015.
Native brands are likely to enter the hybrid car market with micro hybrids. Global makers, especially the Japanese who lead in Hybrid technology, are expected to increase their sales with mild and full hybrids.
Toyota Motor Corporation will introduce the Camry hybrid in China around 2011. Native brands such as SAIC Motor, JAC, Dongfeng, Brilliance Auto, and FAW Car all have plans to commercialize hybrid cars in the next two to three years.
Despite clear fuel economy advantages, many potential customers are reluctant to invest in a hybrid due to its higher initial purchase cost. Frost says in such a scenario, the penetration levels will depend greatly on the extent to which the central government leverages sponsorship to private consumers.
Meanwhile, the government has taken regulatory initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions, giving a boost to the market. (more…)