Chinese Automakers focus on Green Vehicles
Last week at the Beijing autoshow, Chinese automakers from Geely Automotive Holding to SAIC Motor Corp were showing off their new lines of green vehicles and making it clear that China is undeterred by the slow start many green automakers are experiencing. Instead, Chinese automakers are escalating the campaign to offer low-emission vehicles by pushing electric cars and hybrids for mass production.
Stephen Dyer of A.T. Kearney recognized that China may not have a big consumer demand for green vehicles at the moment because so many Chinese customers are first time car buyers and are more interested in practicality and less motivated by conservation.
Nonetheless, the push is on to close the 'practicality' gap by dropping some of the performance features that are a standard for western green auto companies who are appealing to a different market. "Almost all the major Chinese manufacturers have on-going development programs. Some may be more politically motivated but clearly some are very serious pursuits that are backed by large investments and substantial research teams," explained Mr. Dyer. Government subsidies and rebate strategies will be critical factors in convincing the chinese population to switch from traditional fossil fuel vehicles.
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