With move to EVs China set to dominate auto industry
China aims to rid itself of polluting ICE cars
Watch out Detroit: A Chinese electric car revolution is on the way writes Andrew Browne of the Wall Street Journal.
China is placing big bets on a plan to reshape the global auto industry by replacing gas-guzzling cars on its streets with new-energy vehicles.
Ahead of Donald Trump’s trip to China in November, the White House is focused on holding back Chinese exports in traditional industries like steel and aluminum. But that’s a sideshow. A titanic struggle is under way to control the industries of the future from robotics to medical equipment and artificial intelligence. In new-energy vehicles, China is firmly in the driving seat.
Its industrial goal is to leapfrog over foreign car makers in the domestic market, by far the world’s largest—and the most important for General Motors —and become an export powerhouse. Having tried and failed to catch up with Western and Asian makers of traditional vehicles, the country is throwing everything it has at electric cars.
Beijing has said it is studying a move to ban gas cars, without giving a date. It has, though, been specific about who it expects will win the new battle for China’s eager car buyers: The “Made in China 2025” blueprint for how to dominate cutting-edge industries calls for at least 70% market share for home grown plug-in vehicles by 2020.
Ironically, this strategy is likely to involve what at first looks like a breakthrough for foreign auto makers in China.
Expect an announcement on 100% foreign-owned electric car plants in special economic zones, possibly during Mr. Trump’s visit. Chinese leaders will trumpet this as a major concession to Tesla, among others.
In fact, says Michael Laske, the China chief executive of Austrian auto consultancy AVL List GmbH, China’s real aim is to accelerate technology imports to boost what it calls a “strategic emerging industry” and attract global supply chains. “It’s brilliant,” Mr. Laske says. More from Andrew Browne of the Wall Street Journal
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