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Just how big is the Chinese automotive industry?

It’s huge
PHOTO: Edna Tancongco Belleza

China has recently introduced regulatory reforms for car manufacturers, mandating new-energy vehicle quotas and incentives for consumers, both in an effort to protect the environment and to build a robust automotive industry. And companies like Volkswagen, the biggest foreign car brand in the country, are rising up to the challenge.

While we don’t expect to see Volkswagen EVs on Philippine roads anytime soon, it’s safe to assume, with the car company’s massive lineup in China, that it’s poised to take a big chunk of our market as well.

During our visit to the SAIC Volkswagen plant in China, we learned a few things about the fascinating history of how SAIC and Volkswagen came to work together, and some interesting facts about the Chinese auto industry as a whole:

  • The joint venture between SAIC and Volkswagen was signed in 1984. According to to Immo Buschmann, senior director of sales of SAIC-Volkswagen: “At the very beginning of the joint venture, it was Volkswagen on the technological side, building German-quality and German-designed vehicles in China. Whereas the SAIC team was in charge of marketing and selling. But over the history, we have merged how we work.
  • SAIC-VW is just one of three companies that make up Volkswagen China.
  • In China, 500,000 Lavidas are sold annually. The Lavida is to China as the Golf is to Germany in terms of popularity. Therefore, the Lavida is the backbone of VW’s EV initiative in China. It is the ‘ambassador’ for electric mobility.
  • The global passenger-car market is 82,773,189 units. China’s share is 27.5% of that.
  • More than every fourth car sold in the world is in China.
  • When VW China started, the market was only 30,000 units. It is now at 25 million.

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PHOTO: Edna Tancongco Belleza
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