China Ramps Up Exports Via Volvo, Buick, Cadillac – and Now BMW – Forbes

Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on as the limousine carrying Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang arrives at the Chancellery on May 31, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Up until now, China’s vehicle exports have not been much of a story.

China shipped just 710,000 cars and trucks in 2016 — or about 2 percent of the nation’s production, according to Statistica.  The majority of those vehicles were low-priced cars and SUVs shipped to countries like Iran, India, Vietnam, Egypt and Chile.

That 710,000 total was actually down 30 percent from China’s peak year of exports in 2012.

But the backsliding is over thanks to some unexpected help from global luxury brands.

Just this week, BMW reported that authorities have granted its Chinese  joint venture company a license to export. “It’s the government’s declared goal to foster vehicle exports” one person close to BMW told Automotive News.

BMW joins Volvo, Cadillac and Buick in a growing parade of luxury makes accelerating exports from China.

Here’s a look at the major developments underway:

Volvo: Volvo started quietly shipping S60 sedans the the United States in 2015. An inaugural fleet of S90 premium saloons will arrive in Belgium from China this week.  Volvos plans to build all S90s at a new plant in Daqing, northern China for sale both in the domestic market and for export worldwide.

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