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encouraging restructuring among auto makers than by relying on manufacturers the▓mselves

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or China's B▓rilliance Jinbei Automobile Co Ltd in Germany."I believe Chinese auto brands will have a sho▓rter journey to go than their Japanese and Korean counterparts did decades ago," said Det▓thold Aden, president and CEO of BLG Automobile Logistics, Germany's biggest logistics company, which is based in the northern port city Bremen.Aden said he▓ believes that the financial crisis, which makes smaller and cheaper cars popular, provides Chinese medium- and low-end vehicles the best opportunity in Europe.To boost car sales the German government this January bega▓n providing subsidies of 2,500 euros to consumers for every vehicle more than nine years old that is traded for a new car with a smaller engine capacity.In April, the government raised total funds available for subsidies to 5 billion euros from an initial 1.5 billion euros in the scheme that will expire at the end of the year."It is (a chance for) a niche market for Chinese auto brands," said Aden.Tong Zhiyuan, president of China's Huatai Automobile Group, agrees with Aden. "It's an opportunity for Chinese cars to enter Europe when local markets cry out for small cars with low prices and good performance."Tong added that by starting in the small car segment, Chine▓se carmakers can escape a face-down with legendary European rivals in the medi▓um-sized car market.US President Barack Obama's tough ne▓w standards for automobile emissions will raise the barrier for Chines▓e vehicles entering the US market, but it could benefit China's automobile manufacturing industry in the long run, analysts said."Obama's automobile emission deal enhances the difficulty for Chinese auto manufac▓turers to export their vehicles to the US market, a highly-matured market Chinese players are dreaming of, as it's even harder for Chinese vehicles to meet the new and stricter emission requ▓irements," said Zhong Shi, an independent auto analyst.However, the barrier will▓ boost Chinese manufacturers' push to develop greener cars, which is expected to eventually benefit the domestic industry.The White House on Tu▓esday released a national auto emission requirement for ▓cars and trucks to lower their average energy consumption to 15 km per liter with a 30 percent emission reduction target by 2016.The standard will make US drivers pay an extra $1,300 per vehicle.Currently, the US market is still not an auto export ▓destination for China.Chinese automaker BYD Co, which launched the world's first commercial dual-▓mode electric car last December, has said it plans to start selling cars in the U▓nited States in 2001.The Shenzhen-based company could be the Chinese firm that benefits the mo▓st from Obama's emission limits.Its aggressiveness in developing green cars has won support ▓from Warren Buffett. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co, a unit of Buffett▓'s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, bought a 9.9 percent stake in BYD for HK$1.8 billion last September amid the financial crisis in the United States.Industry obser▓vers have called upon the Chinese government to increase support to g▓reen car development."China should learn from the US experience that we should pay more attention to energy efficiency when developing our own automobile industry," said Hui Yumei, an analyst with automobile▓ market research company Sinotrust.Escalating competition and the specter of deflation are threatening to cut deeply into the profit margins of Chinese automakers, part▓icularly those that specialize in small cars that retail at low prices.Total industry sales this year is widely expected to exceed that▓ of the year before, thanks to the government stimulus program. Sales are also being driven by the need to quickly offload cars rolling out of production lines that were vastly expanded in previous boom years.However, f▓or those automakers that expect sales to fall this year, deep financial troubles are in the offing, analysts warned.China, which overtook the US as the world's biggest auto market in January, saw its vehicle sales grow 3.88 percent in the first quarter to 2.68 million units, as the government's stimulus policy for▓ the automobile sector took effect. This is in stark contrast with other major global auto markets such as the US, which suffered a 38 percent slump in vehic▓le sales.Automobile sales soared 34 percent from a month earlier in March, hitting 1.1 million units. In terms of year-on-year growth, it registered a 5 perce▓nt growth, according to industry group, China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM)."The vehicle output and sales number in March were much beyond our expectations," said Zhang X