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Import expo a big success for international automakers

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-11 13:17
Ford inks a major deal with a Chinese corporation on Wednesday at the second China International Import Expo. [Photo by Li Fusheng/China Daily]

Ford, Volkswagen and JLR among companies doing more commerce in China

International carmakers took home big orders at the China International Import Expo that concluded on Sunday, vowing to deepen their commitment to the Chinese market.

Ford inked a major deal with China South Industries Group Corporation on Wednesday, just one day after the event kicked off in Shanghai, according to the Chongqing Morning Post newspaper.

According to the deal, the second largest carmaker in the United States will sell components worth $741 million in 2020 to the corporation, which is the parent company of Changan Auto that has a carmaking joint venture with Ford.

This is the second time that Ford has participated in the expo in an effort to seize the opportunities provided by China's new round of high-level opening-up strategies.

Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford, said the expo is a significant move for the Chinese government to support trade cooperation and economic globalization and to open the Chinese market to the world.

"It serves as a window for all participant companies to further build the trade relations with China," he said.

Ford is the largest US car exporter to China, with vehicles and components shipped to the country from 2014 to 2018 totaling almost 85 billion yuan.

Also during the expo, Volkswagen AG garnered an order of car components and Audi models from its Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen.

The German car giant did not disclose the figure but called the transaction a "major purchase deal".

"The agreement demonstrates Volkswagen Group's commitment to the Chinese market and its confidence in the continued growth of China's automotive industry," the automaker said in a statement.

Together with its subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, Volkswagen also showcased its electrification strategy at the expo.

Stephan Woellenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said the Volkswagen brand will localize 10 purely electric models of its ID family in the country by 2023, in addition to 10 new energy versions of models in its current portfolio by 2020.

The group will produce some 70 electric models by 2028, with total deliveries reaching 22 million. More than half of them will be produced in China, CEO Herbert Diess said in an interview earlier this year.

Diess said as cars become electrified, smart and connected, the future of Volkswagen will be determined in China.

Major international carmakers showed their latest models and technologies at the expo as well.

British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover took seven import models to the event, saying it is confident in China's growth potential and would like to further its commitment to the country.

Pan Qing, executive director of Jaguar Land Rover China, said China's new round of opening up has improved the business environment and created new opportunities for the brand's vision of "in China, in pursuit of win-win development".

China is now the carmaker's largest market, where it has built a carmaking plant and its first overseas engine factory.

"We will introduce more of the latest models and innovative results, making China a strategic core of innovation for our global development," he said.

Japanese carmaker Toyota exhibited its latest electrified vehicles and fuel cell ones at the expo.

Toyota has stepped up collaboration with Chinese companies in terms of electrification.

On Thursday, it announced a joint venture to develop batteries for electric vehicles and related parts. It will be established in China in 2020, with each side holding a 50 percent share, said Toyota.

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