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    Having reported a first quarter net loss of 72 million Euros ($107 million), Saab‘s owner Spyker Cars has now said that, due to ongoing production problems at its assembly plant as well as supplier issues, the struggling Swedish automaker will simply not be able to meet it’s 2011 production forecasts.

    In addition, although it’s been revealed that the company is aggressively seeking funding to help it through the short and mid-term, it looks like that includes three Chinese Automakers, even though, in an official statement, Saab CEO Victor Muller declined to mention any names.

    According to Bloomberg, said companies are rumored to be China Youngman Automobile Group, Great Wall Motor Co and Jiangsu Yueda Group, with the possibility that Saab may have an agreement worked out with at least one of them in just days.

    This follows on the heels of an announcement this week that Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov will invest approximately 30 million euros, in return for a 29.9 percent stake in Saab, a plan that was proved by both the Swedish Government and General Motors.

    In a further effort to help restart production, Saab also said that it was raising funds from shareholders, “pursuing various initiatives to improve the group’s liquidity” in the words of the company, but declined to elaborate any further.

    So far, since under Spyker stewardship, Saab has seen production rise, it sold 9,674 cars in the first quarter this year versus 3,060 during the same period a year ago, though clearly, there’s still much work to be done.

    [Source: Automotive News]

    The post Spyker Says Saab Won’t Meet 2011 Production Targets appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    It’s no secret that the Chinese have been eyeing up General Motors‘ technological expertise when it comes to vehicles like the Chevy Volt (pictured above).

    Now it appears that GM and SAIC Motor Corp in Shanghai have decided to set up a joint venture to further EV development, with the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) serving as the hub for development of new vehicle technologies and architecture.

    According to an official press release from the General, ‘the agreement will leverage SAIC’s market knowledge and local expertise along with GM’s expertise in electric vehicle development and global know-how. It will ensure local input in the development of electric vehicle technology and the delivery of products developed in China.’

    Tim Lee, president of GM’s International Operations believes that this latest joint venture, which builds on partnerships established by the U.S. auto giant and SAIC for 15 years, represents a broad range of benefits made possible by the commitment of the two companies in this venture, as well as representing an “unprecedented level of cooperation.”

    Given current political pressure around the world to produce still cleaner, more efficient vehicles, the joint venture between GM and SAIC to develop electric vehicles may seem like a match made in heaven. In China, cars developed from this venture will be sold through SAIC and Shanghai GM, while in other markets both automakers plan to use the architecture to build and market cars and trucks.

    However, some industry pundits predict that the partnership will ultimately benefit SAIC more than GM, given that both car makers plan to sell EVs in different markets around the world, which could lead to them competing directly against each other. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold.

    The post GM and China’s SAIC Join Forces for EV Development appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    Several years ago the prospect of seeing Chery cars on our shores appeared imminent, thanks to a deal signed between the Chinese automaker and entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin.

    However the deal fell apart and further plans to market cars in the US, including fledgling deals with Chrysler during its dark Cerberus period have come to nought.

    Now, Chery is eying the European market, attempting to market a compact sedan called the Qoros that’s the result of a joint venture with Israel Corp (the Middle Eastern nation’s largest holding company). The Qoros is said to be more upmarket than anything Chery currently produces at home  and both companies have ambitious plans, setting initial production targets of 150,000 units a year, with a new factory being constructed near Shanghai to produce the car.

    In order to be sold in Europe, the Qoros will have to meet, among other things, NCAP safety standards; a goal has been set of achieving five-star crash status and former Mini design direct Gert Hildebrand has signed up to work on the project, while Austrian company Magna-Steyr is reported to be actively involved.

    Whether  such ambitions plans will come to fruition remains to be seen, especially in lieu of Chery’s previous  failed attempts to infiltrate Western markets and past legal issues, ranging from trademark infringements to shady contract dealings. Nonetheless, if the Qoros does succeed, it just  might mark the start of a new era in the automotive business and renewed low price competition in the European marketplace.

    [Source: Left Lane News]

    The post China’s Chery Takes Aim At European Market appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    Beijing Automotive is planning to buy its way into the European automotive market, as the state-owned automaker targets three European manufacturers as potential takeover targets.

    The Chinese automaker is seeking acquisitions abroad to help boost its international business and has its eyes on three medium-size automakers with a “good brand image” in Europe, according to the president of the company’s newly established BAIC International Development Co. BAIC president Dong Haiyang recently said at a press conference that the company wants to “acquire such mid-sized brands in Europe while the economy is sluggish so we can use their facilities as a production base to expand there.”

    Currently Beijing Auto builds its vehicles with Daimler and Hyundai and plans to have $408 million in profit overseas, with a sales target of 400,000 units by 2020. It recently hired Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti to make its brand more appealing, and promises to have world-class vehicles by 2025.

    [Source: Automotive News]

    The post Chinese Automaker Eyes European Brands for Takeover appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    Luxury cars are making a huge splash in the Chinese market, and Acura is the latest automaker to ink a deal with a local partner to build cars and crossovers by 2016.

    Honda announced the deal with Guangzhou Automobile Group to jointly build a vehicle, although no specific car was named. Chinese regulations mandate that foreign companies must partner with local ones in order to sell vehicles in China, hence the need for Honda to buddy-up with Guangzhou Automobile Group, the sixth largest automaker in China.

    A likely candidate for the partnership is the SUV-X concept that was recently unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show, the first Acura concept to debut outside of North America. The production vehicle based on the SUV-X is designed to slot in below the RDX in the Acura lineup, though there’s been no mention of the car hitting North American shores.

    Honda is now among other large automakers including Audi, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and BMW who are producing cars in the country, or collaborating with local companies in order to sell cars.

    The post Acura Vehicles to be built in China by 2016 appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    Chinese Automotive Industry

    China is the wild, wild east of the automotive industry. Home to more than 1 billion people and counting, it’s a hugely important market for car companies. There are many domestic brands over there but curiously foreign companies are making significant headway.

    Ford, for instance, is on a winning streak in China. Over the past two years its market share has nearly doubled in the Middle Kingdom, bringing it up to 4.5 percent. Additionally for the first time ever they sold more than 100,000 vehicles back in March.

    Surprisingly, Chinese customers seem to prefer American brands. They like the international flair and reputation for safety these vehicles provide. Domestic brands tend to lack these virtues. They suffer in long-term reliability surveys, initial-quality reports and crash tests.

    Increasingly affluent Chinese customers want fancier cars, the types of vehicle domestic automakers don’t typically build. This is another reason why foreign brands are gaining popularity.

    But China’s not an unlimited gravy train for off-shore companies. In order to build cars in the country foreign automakers have to enter into a 50-50 joint venture with a domestic car company. If they choose to import cars instead they have to pay hefty tariffs that raise the prices of their vehicles enormously.

    There are talks about ending this protectionist policy but nothing has changed at this time. Like most issues some are in favor of change and others would rather maintain the status quo.

    To keep its momentum going, Ford plans to further expand production. They’re about to open a new automatic transmission plant that will be able to build 400,000 units per year with maximum production of up to 1 million gearboxes. They’re also on track to open a third car-assembly plant later this year; a fourth is on track as well.

    [Source: The New York Times]

    Discuss this story on our Chinese car forum

    The post Chinese Car-Buyers Prefer Foreign Automotive Brands appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    China has a massive influence on the automotive industry, and many are wondering when we will see Chinese cars for sale in North America.

    “The Chinese are already here,” said Michael Dunne, author, entrepreneur and automotive industry expert with a quarter century of business experience in Asia.

    While speaking at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association, Dunne explained that car companies from the Middle Kingdom have sunk deep roots in the U.S. According to him, between 2010 and 2016, Chinese firms made some 128 separate investments in North America totaling an estimated $5-billion.

    Today, many of these companies supply components to various automakers, help fine tune vehicles that are in development, and even work on next-generation technology including things that will help enable self-driving cars.

    ALSO SEE: New Chinese Automaker Debuts Hybrid SUV That Could Be Headed to US

    Adopting a similar strategy to the one used by Japanese and South Korean automakers that came before them, Chinese firms are putting heavy emphasis on California. Ambitious startup brands including BYD, Lucid Motors, Karma, and Faraday Future, many of which are funded by the deep pockets of China’s tech billionaires, all have a presence in the Golden State. Dunne said the reason for this is that the region is a global center for autonomous-vehicle technology, something they strongly want to lead in despite lacking this capability in their home market. When it comes to self-driving cars, “The evidence on the ground in China [is that they’re] really far behind.”

    Even though cars and trucks from domestic Chinese automotive brands are not yet available in North America, this country’s influence on the industry is undeniable. Dunne said BYD is already building and selling million-dollar electric buses. Beyond this, the Buick Envision is built in China and imported to North America, something that would have seemed absurd just a few years ago. And this vehicle is no bottom-feeding economy model, “Nothing about [it] suggests ‘Made in China,’” said Dunne. The crossover is suitably premium for its price, proving that the Chinese can build high-quality vehicles.

    And that could be a key strategy for them going forward. “I don’t see the Chinese coming in with extremely competitive pricing,” Dunne said. He doesn’t expect them to offer slapdash, bargain-basement vehicles in North America since there’s so much work that has to be done in order to sell cars here. They must provide decent quality, have a proper retail network, and be able to service their products. The days of ultra-cheap and unsafe knockoff cars are over — Chinese automakers could be legitimate threats to much more established companies.

    SEE ALSO: Chinese Drivers Prefer Foreign Automotive Brands

    For these reasons and more, this Asian country’s influence on the automotive industry will only increase going forward. Additionally, China is the largest vehicle market in the world and has been for nearly a decade. Last year alone, some 28 million new vehicles were sold there, a 14 percent increase compared to 2015. In contrast, only about 17.5 million cars and trucks were delivered in the U.S. during the same period.

    But if there’s one area where North America and China could come to blows, it’s import duties. Today, there are few economic restrictions on selling vehicles in North America, but it’s a completely different story on the other side of the Pacific.

    “They used to have tariffs that were around 100 percent,” explained Dunne. “[Then] they dropped them… through the 2000s to 75, 50. Now they’ve hit 25 and they’re done.” But still, he said that when other fees, taxes and surcharges are included, the real-world cost of importing a car or truck into China is about 50 percent, meaning an American sedan that would sell for $20,000 in San Diego could go for around 30 grand in Shanghai. Because of this, it’s been imperative for foreign automakers to build their products in China. But as always, there’s a catch.

    Dunne said that by allowing foreign companies to sidestep import fees and manufacture domestically the Chinese government forced them to form joint ventures with domestic automakers, each of whom earn 50 percent of all profits. This is why General Motors China is called “SAIC-GM;” Volkswagen is partnered with FAW, Peugeot-Citroën with Dongfeng and so on; it’s never just Ford or Toyota.

    Like it or not, the Chinese are already playing a significant role in the North American automotive business. Flush with cash, hungry for technology and willing to take risks, they’ll likely continue growing in the foreseeable future. You can also add tenacity to their list of virtues. Dunne said that in business and life, “They never give up.”

    Check out our Tips and Advice Section

    The post Chinese Automakers Could Seriously Shake Up the Auto Industry appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    China is the biggest automotive market in the world, with the country selling and making more cars than anywhere else on the planet.

    But what’s interesting is what that market consists of. The Chinese automotive landscape is very different from what we see in America. Here’s the most popular cars that are made in China, in terms of sales based on the numbers from China Auto Web and the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

    Here are the 10 best selling cars in China.

    10. Baojun 560


    Baojun is the result of a joint venture between General Motors, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co Limited. In addition to Baojun, the joint venture also led to the creation of the Wuling brand as well. These Chinese brands are among the most popular in the country, including the Baojun 560 which was reported as being the 10th most sold vehicle there, topping sales of 321,555 units in 2016.

    This compact crossover, is apparently built on a “world-class Lotus-optimized chassis” according to the automaker, and is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 135 horsepower.

    9. GAC Trumpchi GS4


    Another compact crossover, the GAC Trumpchi GS4 is on the list of best selling cars in China. GAC has been rumored to come to the United states, perhaps dropping the GAC name and just using the name of its successful Trumpchi lineup. The GS4 sold a whopping 326,906 units last year. It sports a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes about 135 horsepower.

    8. VW Sagitar


    As far as we can tell, the Sagitar is a Mark 6 Volkswagen Jetta made in the FAW-VW plant in Changchun, using parts sourced from Volkswagen de Mexico. Despite that, it sold an incredible 341,331 units last year.

    7. VW Jetta


    It seems like the Sagitar isn’t quite enough Jetta to satisfy the Chinese market, and a newer iteration of the Jetta, also sells in the market (as does another one that uses another name, the Bora.) It’s kind of a mind-boggling nomenclature, but whatever, it works for VW China as 348,437 Jettas were sold in China last year.

    6. Nissan Sylphy

    2015 Nissan Sentra

    The Sylphy is basically a Sentra, but in China, the car is offered with two naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines. The 1.8-liter model is similar to our North American model, making around 130 horsepower while the Chinese model is also offered with a less powerful 1.6-liter engine. The other big difference between the North American and Chinese model is where they’re built, as these ones are made by the Dongfeng Motor Company in Guangzhou. Last year, 367,979 new models found owners in China.

    5. Baojun 730


    Here’s a strange one on the list, the Baojun 730, which is a minivan. Over 370,000 of these were sold in China, which is a lot of seven-seaters! Buyers can choose between a 1.5-liter or 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, and like the Baojun 560, this car sports some suspension tuning from Lotus.

    4. Buick Excelle GT


    Buick has a strong reputation in China and 370,370 of these Excelle GTs were sold last year. Does it look familiar? It should, as this is sold elsewhere as the Opel Astra, or more commonly on our roads as the Buick Verano.

    3. VW Lavida


    The best selling sedan is the VW Lavida – which, what do you know, is a facelifted VW Jetta of some kind. We don’t know what they’re putting in these cars that make them so popular, but somehow 478,699 of them were sold, even though there’s two other kinds of Jetta-like cars on this list.

    2. Great Wall Haval H6, H6 Sport, H6 Coupe


    The Chinese market is like ours in one major way, it’s love for practical, spacious crossovers. The Great Wall Haval H6 is extra special because unlike many of the other vehicles on this list, it is a truly Chinese car, with no input or help from another automaker through a joint venture. Its offered with a range of gas or diesel engines, and features four wheel drive. An unbelievable 580,683 of them were sold last year, but that number also includes the various versions of the car including the Sport and Coupe models.

    1. Wuling Hongguang


    The most popular car sold in the Chinese market is the Wuling Hongguang with 650,018 units sold in 2016. The Hongguang has seats for 7 passengers, proving once again how popular the versatile minivan body style can be.

    The post Top 10 Best-Selling Cars in China appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    Chinese vehicle manufacturer BYD began delivering the first part of an electric work truck order in California.

    The first heavy-duty terminal tractor truck was delivered to Daylight Transport for the freight transport company’s Fontana, Calif., facility. It’s the first of 27 electric trucks BYD will be delivering to customers in southern California.

    The project is funded in part by California’s cap-and-trade program created a few years ago through the state’s global warming law. The contract includes 23 class 8 and four class 5 vehicles for disadvantaged communities in California’s Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

    Daylight Transport will be getting three electric yard trucks and a service truck. The remaining 23 trucks from the funded program are scheduled for delivery at two BNSF Railway yards in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.

    “With this project, California is proving to critics that clean air and job creation are not mutually exclusive,” said Stella Li, president of BYD Motors’ North America division.

    “Our electric trucks are safe and reliable, and every purchase of a BYD electric truck in California helps support local job creation,” she said.

    BYD is best known for being the market leader in electric passenger vehicle sales in China. It’s Lancaster, Calif., assembly facility has been the home to electric buses and work trucks going out to transit districts and fleets across the country.

    SEE ALSO: BYD Han is a Chinese Supercar in the Works

    The Chinese company has been expanding its assembly facility to handle growing demand for electric buses and trucks of all sizes.

    Representatives from California Air Resources Board and San Bernardino Council of Governments attended the Fontana event. Government entities have been working with vehicle makers and others on cleaning up freight hauling in the state tied to the harbors. Air pollution from cargo trucks has been a major source of air pollution in the region.

    BYD is showing interest in bringing some of its electric passenger cars to the U.S. The Chinese company is involved in the process of EPA-certifying its 2017 E6 all-electric crossover SUV. However, the company wouldn’t comment on whether that meant bringing these cars overseas for retail sales in the U.S.

    [Source: Inside EVs]

    This article originally appeared on HybridCars.com

    The post Chinese Automaker BYD Delivers First Electric Truck to US Freight Company appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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    fiat chrysler automobiles assembly line

    Three of China’s largest automakers have said they have no plans of acquiring Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

    Earlier this week, reports surfaced saying a Chinese automaker had made a bid on acquiring FCA, but it was unclear what company it was. Now, Guangzhou Automobile Group, Geely Automobile Holdings, and Dongfeng Motor Group have all come forward saying they have no plans to acquire FCA. Based on the earlier reports, one source indicated China’s Great Wall Motor Co. had visited FCA’s headquarters in Michigan to discuss a potential acquisition. According to Automotive News, Great Wall is not one of the companies that have stepped forward denying plans.

    SEE ALSO: FCA Could be Bought by a Chinese Automaker

    The Italian-American automaker’s shares took a jump on Monday after the report was released that “a well-known Chinese automaker” had made an offer to acquire FCA. The automaker has a market value of almost $20 billion, and it’s believed the offer made earlier this month was slightly above market value. FCA however, rejected it because it considered the offer to be too low.

    Discuss this story on our Fiat Forum

    The post Major Chinese Automakers Deny Plans to Acquire FCA appeared first on AutoGuide.com.

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