The latest from the Shanghai auto show

by Ben Pena April 20, 2017, 9:18

The electric vehicle concept has been unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show, and industry insiders suggest that it will reach production, retaining its electric drivetrain, by 2020.

"It's hard for someone with an EV to come and take away market share from SUVs", stated Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group.

SsangYong Motor's flagship subcompact SUV Tivoli Air, left, and compact SUV new Korando, an improved model released this year, will be featured at the Shanghai auto show starting Friday.

China's central government and many local authorities are keen to reduce congestion and air pollution and have dangled various incentives for car-sharing, such as eased licensing requirements and guaranteed parking.

Germany-based consultancy Roland Berger forecasts annual market growth of at least 45 percent. SUVs compromised 40 percent of sales, while sedan purchases dropped 4.9 percent.

Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and other global brands also have announced plans this year to launch electric or gasoline-electric hybrids in China, where the market is dominated by lower-cost Chinese brands led by BYD Auto, the world's biggest seller of electric models by units sold.

German giant Daimler launched a car-sharing service past year that has since expanded to seven cities, gaining more than 250,000 registered users, the company said. Offering a glimpse of the future, the next-generation vehicle aims to push the boundaries of innovation and technology, while meeting the needs of today's trend-setting auto buyers.

Digitization, sustainability and urbanization are top three corporate strategies in China, said Audi executives who saw great business opportunities for China's 1.1 billion mobile users.

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Long, 20, drives himself to school for around 50 yuan ($7) using EVCARD, a service launched by state-owned automaker SAIC Motor that has compact electric vehicles sprinkled around the city, slashing his travel time and costing one-quarter the taxi fare.

Michael Yang, director of SAIC's global division, revealed at Auto Shanghai on Wednesday said it will focus on its efforts in China and Europe for now.

Volvo will also build an all-electric vehicle on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which is the same platform the company used for its second-generation XC90 SUV and its 90-Series sedan.

China saw double-digit sales growth last year though that is set slow to about five percent this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

That is why even as automakers fight electric vehicle mandates in the United States, they are scrambling to develop more plug-in electric hybrids and electric battery cars for China.

Volvo Cars has announced that it will build its first fully electric auto in China, as part of its larger commitment to sell a total of 1 million electrified cars - including fully electric cars and hybrids - by 2025. He said the brands plan to roll out a total of 10 new locally produced SUVs over the next two years.

Industry executives expect Beijing to ask automakers operating in China ultimately to generate green auto credits equivalent to 12 percent of annual sales volume with NEVs by around 2020, with each green vehicle getting a different number of credits depending on the level of electrification and driving range.

A number of automakers have already reported falling China sales so far this year. The brand's pioneer electric vehicle will go on sale after a decade of the takeoff of their plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the Superb hatchback. It is to be the first in a full range of pure-electric vehicles for China. Toyota has said it will locally build plug-in hybrids and sell them in China, starting in 2018, although it has not said when all-electric vehicle models would hit Chinese showrooms.


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