UK auto leader urges avoiding "trade war" over China EV tariffs-Xinhua

UK auto leader urges avoiding "trade war" over China EV tariffs

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-07-02 19:21:17

A man looks at a BYD electric vehicle in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 17, 2023. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Chinese brands have provided more choices to Britain's tech-loving consumers, driving down costs and stimulating innovation and competition in the industry, Hawes said.

LONDON, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A British auto industry leader has urged the avoidance of any increase in trade barriers across global markets amid rows on the European Union (EU) and United States tariff hikes on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs).

"Nobody wants a trade war. We don't want to see any sort of tit-for-tat actions," Mike Hawes, chief executive of the United Kingdom (UK) Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), remarked when commenting on the tariff hikes.

Although the current situation does not directly affect the UK, there is a degree of uncertainty over the coming months as negotiations continue between the EU and China over the planned tariff hikes and as the United States is to hold the presidential election at the end of the year, said Hawes, adding that the UK motor industry is closely monitoring the situation.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Hawes said that Britain is a very open market with tech-loving consumers, and several Chinese brands have entered the market in recent years. They provide more choices, driving down costs for consumers, and stimulating innovation and competition in the industry, he added.

"As long as that competition is fair, then everyone is a winner," Hawes noted.

This photo taken on Jan. 10, 2024 shows a factory of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Li Auto Inc. in Changzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

Specifically, Hawes said that Chinese brands hold about a 4 percent share of the overall market and approximately 10 percent of the electric car market. In addition, around 30 percent of all electric cars sold in the UK come from China, including those from non-Chinese brands.

SMMT data showed that about 16-17 percent of new cars sold in the UK so far this year were EVs, which is below the government's mandate requiring each brand to ensure that 22 percent of their new vehicle sales this year are zero-emission.

New technology transitions are never smooth, said Hawes, calling on all stakeholders to play their part in Britain's net zero transition.

Moreover, Hawes stressed Britain is a great place to invest and a highly competitive market as well.

Automakers that want to enter the UK market should have their product "attractive to people, have the service backup that is required and at a cost that is competitive in a tough market," he added.

Consumers watch Xiaomi's new energy vehicle model SU7 at a retail shop in Beijing, capital of China, March 28, 2024. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong) ■


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