China's automakers explore Latin America market-Xinhua

China's automakers explore Latin America market

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-29 21:18:15

Vehicle carrier vessel "BYD EXPLORER NO.1" arrives at Xiaomo International Logistics Port in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 14, 2024. (Xinhua)

SHENZHEN, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- At the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, a cargo vessel loaded with 214 pure electric buses travelled across the Pacific from China to arrive in Chile. These buses are set to begin providing transportation services to local residents at the end of February.

This is an order delivered by Chinese bus maker Yutong Bus to its Chilean customer. These buses are equipped to meet the transportation needs of commuters traveling between the main urban areas and surrounding towns of Santiago, the capital city.

Following booming overseas demand, China's car exports have seen explosive growth in recent years thanks to the growing popularity of new energy vehicles (NEVs), with domestic traditional automakers and newcomers entering overseas markets.

It is widely believed that, Latin America, a blue ocean market where automakers have invested heavily, boasts great market potential despite its relatively late start. In the first five months of last year, China's exports of NEVs to Latin America surged 26.5 percent year on year to reach 337,000. Chinese-brand automobiles have become a familiar presence on the roads in countries like Chile and Mexico.

This January, Chinese NEV manufacturer BYD rolled out its hybrid model Song PLUS in Mexico, China's second largest auto export market, whose comprehensive driving range has reportedly exceeded 1,000 km.

Geely Auto Group, another Chinese automaker, established its first Latin American regional subsidiary in Mexico last November and plans to launch five new models within a year.

The landscape of China's auto exports is evolving beyond mere sales and transitioning into manufacturing and services.

More and more Chinese automakers are investing in setting up plants in Latin America. Chery Automobile announced in February that it will pour 400 million U.S. dollars into the construction of a plant in Argentina, with plans to produce 100,000 vehicles annually. Other Chinese brands including Great Wall Motor are also set to break ground in factories in countries like Chile and Brazil.

Zhang Yongwei, vice president of electric vehicle industry think tank China EV100, said China's NEV exports maintained growth momentum while accelerating their transition from trade to diversifying into technical cooperation and overseas investment in factories.

Chinese automakers are also prioritizing enhancements in charging services and financial offerings.

In early 2023, BYD's branch company in Mexico partnered with the multinational banking group Santander to provide convenient auto financial services to local dealers and customers. Furthermore, BYD recently cooperated with Shell's Brazilian energy company Raízen Power to establish charging centers in eight cities in Brazil over next three years.

With more and more new technologies, such as intelligent technology, digitalization and Internet of Things, being put into operation, China's new energy vehicles are expected to be more competitive while having more development space in overseas markets, said Sun Chao, deputy dean of Shenzhen Automotive Research Institute with Beijing Institute of Technology. 


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