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  Light-vehicle sales projected to rise 5% in 2017
Automotive News China | 2017/1/17

Light-vehicle sales in China will increase about 5 percent year on year to 25.7 million vehicles in 2017 on demand for crossovers, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers projects.  Sales of crossovers, SUVs and MPVs will achieve double-digit growth this year, Xu Haidong, assistant secretary general of the association, said during a press briefing last week in Beijing.
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  Honda outperforms Toyota, Nissan in 2016
Automotive News China | 2017/1/17

Honda Motor Co.'s China sales jumped 24 percent year on year in 2016 to 1.25 million vehicles, helped by strong demand for compact crossovers.  Honda overtook rival Toyota Motor Corp., which reported an 8.2 percent increase in deliveries to 1.2 million vehicles.  But Nissan Motor Co. managed to retain its status as the top-selling Japanese automaker in China. Last year, Nissan's China sales rose 8.4 percent to 1.35 million vehicles.
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  Volvo China deliveries rise 11% last year
Automotive News China | 2017/1/17

Volvo Car Corp.'s China sales increased 11 percent year on year to 90,930 vehicles in 2016 as the company enjoyed strong demand for the locally-produced Volvo XC60 crossover and the S60L sedan.  But  Volvo failed to keep pace with overall industry sales, which rose 15 percent last year.
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  Despite fraud probes, EV deliveries jump 53% to 500,000 in 2016
Automotive News China | 2017/1/17

Spurred by government subsidies, sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in China last year surged 53 percent to nearly 507,000 vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.  In 2016, sales of battery-electric vehicles soared 65 percent to 409,000 vehicles, while deliveries of plug-in hybrids rose 17 percent to 98,000.
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  Renault, with launch of China output, sees sales surge 82%
Automotive News China | 2017/1/17

Dongfeng Renault Automobile Co., which began China production in early 2016, sold 36,525 vehicles last year, a jump of 82 percent from a year earlier.  Renault SA's joint venture received a boost from local output, which allowed it to avoid a 25 percent tariff on vehicle imports.
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  Shouqi Car Rental partners with European peer Europcar
Automotive News China | 2017/1/17

Shouqi Car Rental Co., a Beijing-based car rental firm, is partnering with European counterpart Europcar Group to help both companies attract customers in China and Europe.  Under a deal signed this month, Shouqi customers will be able to access Europcar's car rental services from Shouqi's website and to purchase car rental services outside of China via Europcar's network in Europe and other markets.
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  COMMENT
For luxury brands, 2017 will be another good year after fabulous 2016
Yang Jian | 2017/1/13

SHANGHAI -- Luxury brands had a fabulous year in China last year. Entering 2017, they have a good chance to maintain robust sales despite an expected slowdown in the growth of China's light-vehicle market.  Every major luxury brand except Audi and Infiniti achieved more than 10 percent sales growth in China last year.  Interestingly, the two best performers in the luxury market were both American brands.  Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
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  China light-vehicle sales jump 15% in 2016 behind tax cuts on small vehicles
Automotive News China | 2017/1/13

Light-vehicle deliveries in China advanced 15 percent to approach 24.4 million in 2016 behind a 50 percent reduction in the sales tax on small vehicles.  Sales of vehicles with engine sizes of up to 1.6 liters, which were eligible for the tax break, surged 21 percent to exceed 17.6 million vehicles in 2016, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. 
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  VW Group deliveries rise 12% to 3.98 million vehicles in 2016
Automotive News China | 2017/1/13

The Volkswagen Group outsold General Motors to become China's largest carmaker last year, with deliveries advancing 12 percent year on year to 3.98 million vehicles.  The German auto giant's sales growth was led by the Volkswagen brand.  
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  Great Wall becomes 2nd Chinese carmaker to top sales of 1 million vehicles a year
Automotive News China | 2017/1/13

Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest manufacturer of crossovers and SUVs, has become the second domestic Chinese carmaker to sell more than 1 million vehicles a year, following Chongqing Changan Automobile Co.  Great Wall delivered 1.074 million vehicles last year, an increase of 26 percent from a year earlier.  
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  Ford bets on Mustang to power up China profits
Reuters | 2017/1/13

Ford Motor Co. is betting on one of its most distinctively American models, the Mustang muscle car, to boost the company's sales and profits in China.  Ford began selling the Mustang in China in early 2015, and it is a niche vehicle, selling at a rate of about 3,000 cars a year.  Still, that makes the Mustang, which starts at 399,800 yuan ($57,670) the top-seller in a sporty car segment against more expensive vehicles such as the Audi TT and the Nissan Skyline GT-R.
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  Guangzhou still plotting U.S. entry
David Sedgwick | 2017/1/13

DETROIT -- Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., the Chinese automaker that exports vehicles to 14 countries, wants to enter the U.S. "in the near future" -- but not just yet.  The state-owned company unveiled a five-seat crossover concept, dubbed the GS7, Monday at the Detroit auto show -- its third appearance at the Detroit show and its first time on the main floor. 
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  Fiat Chrysler names operating chiefs for China, Asia Pacific
Reuters | 2017/1/13

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Wednesday named Daphne Zheng COO of China and Paul Alcala as the operating chief of Asia Pacific, excluding China.  The changes are effective immediately, Fiat said.
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  Yanfeng reimagines the interior for autonomous driving
Automotive News | 2017/1/13

DETROIT -- Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is reimagining vehicle interiors for the day when motorists may not have to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.  Yanfeng used the Detroit auto show this week to introduce the Experience in Motion concept, or XiM17, to match the needs of consumers who may not have to focus on driving anymore.
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  Global automakers' 2016 China sales vroom; dull 2017 looms
Reuters | 2017/1/10

BEIJING -- Global automakers reported a surge in China sales last year as consumers rushed to take advantage of a tax cut on small-engine vehicles, but cautioned that 2017 would be tougher for the industry as the incentive is rolled back and the broader economy slows.  Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. on Friday each reported sales growth of 8 percent or better for 2016 from a year earlier, although Honda Motor Co. led the pack with a 24 percent growth. 
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  GM sales rise 7.1% in 2016 behind Cadillac, Buick and Baojun gains
Automotive News China | 2017/1/10

SHANGHAI -- General Motors' China deliveries increased 7.1 percent year on year to top 3.87 million vehicles in 2016 as strong sales of the Cadillac, Buick and Baojun brands more than offset weak deliveries at Chevrolet and Wuling. Despite an overall gain for the year, GM may have lost share in the Chinese light-vehicle market. In the first 11 months of 2016, China's light-vehicle sales advanced 16 percent from a year earlier to approach 21.7 million. 
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  Ford deliveries jump 14% for the year on demand for locally built vehicles
Automotive News China | 2017/1/10

SHANGHAI -- Ford Motor Co.'s China deliveries advanced 14 percent year on year to exceed 1.27 million vehicles in 2016 on volumes generated by locally produced Ford-badged vehicles as well as imported Lincoln models.  During the year,  Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ford's passenger-vehicle joint venture, sold 957,495 vehicles, up 14 percent from 2015.
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  Geely targets 31% sales growth in 2017
Automotive News China | 2017/1/10

Geely Automobile Holdings aims to sell 1 million vehicles globally this year, up 31 percent from 2016.  The private Chinese carmaker expects to maintain robust growth recorded last year.   In 2016, Geely's deliveries surged 50 percent year on year to 765,851 vehicles on strong demand for four new models.
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  China fines GM 201 million yuan for monopolistic pricing
Reuters | 2017/1/10

BEIJING  -- China will fine General Motors' joint venture 201 million yuan ($29 million) for monopolistic pricing, state TV reported, ending speculation after an official earlier warned of penalties against an unnamed U.S. carmaker.  Shanghai's pricing regulator said it would fine GM's joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp. for setting minimum prices on certain Cadillac, Chevy and Buick models, according to China Central Television. 
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  China tightens eligibility rules for electric-car subsidies
Bloomberg | 2017/1/10

China will impose stricter standards and cut subsidies for manufacturers of electric cars in a move to weed out companies that lack the ability to produce quality products.  The government has raised the technology threshold for makers of battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars by setting standards for energy consumption and range, according to a statement posted by the Ministry of Finance on its website. 
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  GM moving forward on sale of Indian car plant to China's SAIC
Reuters | 2017/1/10

NEW DELHI -- A subsidiary of China's top carmaker SAIC Motor Corp. plans to acquire certain General Motors manufacturing assets in India, a filing with the country's competition watchdog showed on Friday.  The assets, which could give the Chinese automaker a toehold in the Indian car market, will be acquired via an Indian subsidiary of SAIC that is yet to be incorporated, according to the filing with the Competition Commission of India.
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  Chinese ride-hailing company Didi invests in Brazilian counterpart
Automotive News China | 2017/1/10

Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company, has invested in its Brazilian counterpart 99 in a bid to explore the global market.  The undisclosed investment is part of  a strategic partnership the two companies signed last week, Didi said.
>> Read Full Story

Holiday notice
Automotive News China | 2016/12/23

Today's issue will be  Automotive News China's last newsletter of the year.  We will resume publication on Monday, January 9. Have a happy holiday!

>> Read Full Story

  COMMENT
Why Beijing won't punish U.S. automakers for Trump's sins
Yang Jian | 2016/12/23

SHANGHAI -- This month, President-elect Donald Trump stirred a hornets' nest when he disputed the assumption that Taiwan is part of China -- a decades-old policy that has allowed the region to prosper.  Two days later,  China Daily  reported that the government's antitrust agency may penalize General Motors for monopolistic behavior. Coincidence?  Some observers fear this could become a pattern: that Beijing will vent its anger on U.S. companies whenever Trump annoys it. Well, such fears are not totally groundless, but there are three reasons why U.S. automakers aren't likely to be singled out. Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor of Automotive News China.
>> Read Full Commentary

  Ministry of Industry to tighten EV subsidy program following scandal
Reuters | 2016/12/23

China will raise technical requirements for electric cars that qualify for subsidies -- and it will pay those subsidies retroactively rather than at the time of purchase -- to rein in widespread cheating by automakers.  China has spent heavily on its EV subsidies, which totaled $4.5 billion (31 billion yuan) last year alone, in a bid to combat heavy pollution that affects large swathes of the country.
>> Read Full Story

  SAE China to set standards for vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity
Reuters | 2016/12/23

BEIJING -- In 2018, China will review standards for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication and lay out a common national standard after that, said the chief of the Society of Automotive Engineers of China.

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  Two Chinese brands report bloated inventories in November
Automotive News China | 2016/12/23

Dealership inventories in China last month edged down slightly to 39 days, from 40 days in October, as consumers rushed to take advantage of a soon-to-expire tax break on small cars.  But the industry's stable inventories concealed some fluctuations amongst individual automakers.  

>> Read Full Story

  Shanghai court fines firms for using BMW-like trademark
Automotive News China | 2016/12/23

SHANGHAI  -- A court in Shanghai ordered two Chinese firms and the founder of one of them to pay BMW 3 million yuan ($432,000) for registering trademarks similar to that of the German automaker, the Shanghai Daily reported.  The ruling is the latest win for a large foreign firm in China, a sign that courts are taking trademark infringement more seriously in a country dogged with fakes of everything from clothing brands to entire shops. 
>> Read Full Story

  State-owned TV targets global automakers for bad brake pads
Reuters | 2016/12/23

A China Central Television (CCTV) report on Sunday highlighted complaints by the country's safety watchdog this year that some imported brake pads for vehicles sold by global automakers were found to be faulty.  Leading foreign firms in China have sometimes been hit by consumer backlash after CCTV segments, with Volkswagen being targeted last year in two separate investigations.
>> Read Full Story

  Thyssenkrupp builds major steering parts plant in Changzhou
Automotive News China | 2016/12/23

Thyssenkrupp AG says it is constructing a major plant in the east China city of Changzhou to produce steering systems for a variety of automakers.  The German supplier plans to invest 200 million euros (1.44 billion yuan) initially in the 150,000 square-meter facility, which will employ 800 people. The plant will start production in December 2017. 
>> Read Full Story

  Beijing confirms plans to raise tax on small cars in 2017
Automotive News China | 2016/12/20

China's government confirmed media reports that it will raise the purchase tax on small vehicles next month, with the increase to be phased in over the next year.  Vehicles with engine sizes up to 1.6 liters currently carry a 5 percent purchase tax. That will be increased to 7.5 percent next year and 10 percent in 2018, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Finance.
>> Read Full Story
 

TOP 10 HEADLINES
OF THE LAST WEEK
For luxury brands, 2017 will be another good year after fabulous 2016

China light-vehicle sales jump 15% in 2016 behind tax cuts on small vehicles

VW Group deliveries rise 12% to 3.98 million vehicles in 2016

Great Wall becomes 2nd Chinese carmaker to top sales of 1 million vehicles a year

Ford bets on Mustang to power up China profits

Guangzhou still plotting U.S. entry

Fiat Chrysler names operating chiefs for China, Asia Pacific

Yanfeng reimagines the interior for autonomous driving

Global automakers' 2016 China sales vroom; dull 2017 looms

GM sales rise 7.1% in 2016 behind Cadillac, Buick and Baojun gains

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