China moves towards electric car revolution
Premium car manufacturers switch to electric cars

The automotive industry is undergoing tremendous changes. Experts say that over the next 5 years there will be more changes than has happened over the past 50. Just as with the introduction of self-driving technologies and car sharing services, the changes are not just part of the pursuit of profit, but also a survival issue. At the same time, it is very difficult to predict when and where to invest. Despite the growing number of companies producing electric cars, consumers are still not lining up to buy a car with an electric motor, and the widespread use of self-driving technology is facing legal barriers. But what remains stable in the auto industry is the opportunity to make good money on a developing car market, for example, selling cars in China.

For many years, carmakers have spoken about China's growing importance, and while most carmakers are not underestimating US consumers, the world's largest auto market is now in China. And global premium brands are doing great in the Chinese market. “To date, we have completed our annual plan by more than 100%,” said Reid Bigland, head of the Maserati brand, during a roundtable at the New York show. “China is the number one market for Quattroporte worldwide. The Chinese are very interested in the next generation of electrified cars. In addition, there are many mobile young people who like Maserati. ”

Since the Chinese government introduced a tax on super-premium cars, there has been an increase in speculation on sales of premium goods, but still the market continues to grow. In addition to Maserati, the record year in China was for automakers such as Porsche and McLaren.

“Any global automaker should focus on China, which is the largest global market now and is likely to remain in the future,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader. “About 28 million of new cars were sold last year in China, for comparison, 17.5 million cars were sold in the US last year, which were a record for the country. China is too big to be ignored. ”

In order to sell well in China, you need to make cars that satisfy the tastes and needs of customers. Over the past decade, premium car manufacturers have adapted their product line to meet the needs of Chinese consumers, for example, equipped sedans and SUVs with large rear seats for car owners who prefer to ride with a driver. But recently, user preferences have changed fr om sports cars to SUVs. And since environmental problems are acute in China, the electric vehicle industry is gaining momentum. Last year, the Chinese government proposed that by 2018, vehicles with more economical fuel consumption should make up 8% of the total fleet.

Perhaps China is the country that will lead us to a global transition to electric cars. At the Shanghai Motor Show, car companies halved production plans in order to produce electric-powered SUVs. Audi showed an electric SUV E-tron Sportback, Citroen introduced the C5 Aircros. Chinese companies are also not far behind, the new electric car brand NIO introduced a teaser for the EV electric crossover, and MG, SAIC Moto's Shanghai subsidiary, demonstrated the concept of the E-Motion electric coupe. “Due to the terrible air quality, China is promoting electric car sales to help automakers save money by increasing the scale of electric car production,” Krebs said. So far, electric cars account for a small percentage of cars on the road, but significant efforts from China can shift this trend. In order to be in the race and keep a good position in the automotive industry, enormous changes must be taken into account. China's desire to make cars more economical is the smart move in a game wh ere the stakes are very high.

“The biggest challenge in the automotive industry is that you may have your own plan, but when you make decisions, you should think 4-7 years ahead. The decisions taken now may have huge consequences in the future, «said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche. “The breaking point is something about we and the whole industry is brainstorming about. This is when you ask yourself, will you stop building an internal combustion engines to replace it with an electric motor? ”

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