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Engage your Chinese Consumers Better

China Motoring

Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV

As we race towards the end of the year, we thought it appropriate, or corny if you wish, to conclude our penultimate post for 2021 with a quick round up of China motoring news for this month. Let’s start out with a couple of EV brands, one famous and one not so, who have either fallen foul of the law or their customers.

Early this month,  Xpeng was the latest fairly high flying brand name to be caught up in an ongoing Gvt purge and overhaul of privacy laws and data collection in China. In what the brand states was an attempt to understand their customers better they installed cameras to film and record customers in their various automobile showrooms. They were ordered to remove and destroy hundreds of thousands of images and hit with a 100,00 RMB fine. Xpeng claimed “unfamiliarity with certain laws” and making mistakes when purchasing equipment” as their defence. Maybe they should have spent more time studying the laws and less studying showroom visitors.

Meanwhile a less known China EV brand ORA, is in trouble with both its customers and potential class legal action for installing an older chip in one range whilst claiming it to be cutting edge tech. To add insult to injury, the brand told customers the chip was valued at twice its real price.

China’s auto exports double first 11 months

In what is not likely to be music to Biden’s ears China’s auto exports of NEV increased almost 60% up from 2020’s figures. All in all, China’s auto industry exported almost 1.75 million units, up twice as much as last year. The increase was driven by passenger cars, 170,00 units whilst commecail vehicles rose 13% to 30,000 units.

With the boot on the other foot BMW have revealed that one third of its deliveries this year were to Chinese customers. China is also on the cusp of becoming the company’s largest production base. In a press release, BMW also announced a new strategy: “At Home in China” and accelerating a “China First” approach.

The release went on to state the group will: “participate in China’s innovation and green development and join hands with Chinese partners to promote development and transformation and digital innovation.” Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Germany and China.

As part of China’s push into green tech and environmental protection awareness, Shanghai has plans to lead the development of the country’s hydrogen industry with more refuelling stations and fuel cell electric vehicles in the next three years.

And finally, for die hard Toyota fans, the long wait is over. After focusing strongly on hybrid vehicles for what seems like for ever, Toyota finally released its electrification campaign last week. Toyota said it will launch 30 EVs by 2030, less than rivals such as the world’s No 2 carmaker Volkswagen, which in July predicted that half of its global vehicle sales will be electric cars by the same year.

But Toyota is continuing to play its cards close to its chest. Despite announcement of an EV range, Toyota is still taking a longer term view, preferring to wait and see where and how the market shakes down. In the mean time, it believes customers should have a choice so will continue to produce hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles alongside EV.

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