It’s a lie to say I’m not jealous
Author｜Wang Lei Chumen
You can’t wake someone who is pretending to sleep, but profit can.
While Chinese brands are booming in the electric vehicle market, most established car companies are still gorging themselves on the dividends from gasoline vehicles. It is difficult to say that they are proactive and sensitive to the electric transformation until Chinese electric vehicle brands hit their doorsteps.
This year’s Munich Auto Show allowed the outside world to see the power of Chinese brands. BYD is building factories and opening stores in Europe, and new forces are also planning to break into the hometown of automobiles. The arrogant Europeans finally couldn’t sit still.
On the afternoon of September 13, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced during her annual “State of the Alliance Address” at the European Parliament in Strasbourg,Countervailing investigation to be launched on Chinese electric vehicles.
“The global market is now flooded with cheaper electric cars, and huge state subsidies have artificially kept their prices down, which is causingdistort our market. “
Von der Leyen’s rhetoric is tantamount to aMessageits original intention is of course to protect local European car companies.
In response, the German Chancellor also encouraged German car companies when attending the Munich Auto Show, saying that when facing competition from Chinese car companies, they should be encouraged, not intimidated.Then with a wave of his hand, he took out €110 billionincentive plan.
For a long time in the past, Europe’s automotive technology and manufacturing levels have been a model for the global automotive industry. BBA’s hometown is Germany, which is enough to prove its leadership.
On the other side of the ocean, China’s automobile industry, starting from the “Ten Cities with Thousands of Vehicles” more than ten years ago, is moving forward on the road to de-fuelling. So we can see that more and more Chinese brand electric vehicles are emerging in the European market.
Obviously, all gifts have already been secretly priced.
01 ,Attitudes of all parties
As early as July this year, it was reported that the EU was about to launch restrictions on Chinese-made electric vehicles.Anti-dumping and countervailing investigations.
The reason is still the EU’sChinese electric cars enter European market in a big wayFeeling uneasy, they worry that electric vehicles imported from China will flood into the European market at an extremely fast speed and scale, thus threatening local electric vehicle production in Europe.
According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), there will be 10,000 electric vehicles sold in Europe in 2022. 16% Importing from China, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said at the time, “In favor of launching a dumping investigation into Chinese electric vehicles, the rapid increase in the number of electric vehicles imported from China has become a problem facing the EU industry.”
But what is interesting is that EU countries have different attitudes towards the anti-subsidy investigation of Chinese electric vehicles.
The July survey consisted primarily ofFranceMoving forward, the French president has said, “We do not want to use French taxpayers’ money to accelerate industrialization outside the EU.”
Local European media said that France has a fierce attitude because France’s electric vehicle purchase subsidies in the first quarter of 2023 will be approximately 40% goes to Chinese companiesThe product.
Therefore, France plans to adjust the implementation conditions of electric vehicle subsidies and conduct an investigation into Chinese electric vehicles.
Unlike France,GermanyIt is believed that if the EU adopts trade remedy measures against China, it may lead to China’s counterattack and even damage the European automobile industry.
Germany’s relatively mild attitude is understandable. BBA and Volkswagen still have irreplaceable advantages in the domestic market. These companies have just announced their strategic plans for the Chinese market, so Germany is very “cautious.”
Faced with this latest anti-subsidy investigation, the EU-China Chamber of Commerce also responded quickly.
The EU-China Chamber of Commerce said the EU should be urged toAn objective look at the development of China’s electric vehicle industryinstead ofUse unilateral economic and trade tools at will to prevent or increase the development and operating costs of Chinese electric vehicle products in Europe. “The opening of the European market should be reflected in concrete actions and should provide foreign companies with a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment.”
The statement stated that Chinese companies, including the electric vehicle industry, are committed to realizing the vision of global carbon neutrality and will make unremitting efforts to this end. The China Chamber of Commerce in the EU hopes that EU policymakers and industry will meet each other halfway and jointly contribute to the green development of the world.
02 ,Behind the countervailing investigation
Why is Europe obsessed with setting restrictions on Chinese electric vehicles?
Let’s first look at a set of data. Data from Schmidt (SAR) Automotive Research Company shows that the share of Chinese automobile brands in the EU market will increase from 2021 to 2021.Less than 1% rose to 2.8% this year.
In the electric vehicle market, Chinese manufacturers accounted for 8% of total sales, up from 6% last year and 4% in 2021. In the first half of this year, Chinese automakers sold almost as many electric vehicles in Europe as they did in all of 2022.
China’s share of the European electric vehicle market has more than doubled in less than two years.
It is worth mentioning that in the European pure electric vehicle market, Volvo, MG, and Polestar, the top three sales brands in 2022, are all local European car brands acquired by Chinese car companies.Accounting for 8.6% of the European pure electric vehicle market share.
In the first 8 months of this year,SAIC MG Sales across Europe reached 135,000 units, a year-on-year increase of 148%, and it topped the new car sales list in the UK (non-EU countries), Germany, France and other countries. The main sales model MG4 has sold more than 40,000 units in Europe in the first eight months of this year, becoming the European pure electric compact car sales champion.
Due to the huge historical baggage, European local car companies cannot develop electric vehicles as lightly as Chinese brands.
At the same time, the European electric vehicle market is not as large as the domestic one. Recently, foreign media reported that Volkswagen is considering layoffs at its Zwickau plant in eastern Germany. The reason given is,European EV demand sluggishonly redundant labor costs can be cut.
In addition, because the supply chain does not have local advantages, the different pricing in different countries has also chilled the hearts of many European people.
Not long ago, German netizens made a fuss online because the Chinese version of the ID.3 was cheap. The reason is that the ID.3 “made in Germany” sold for 39,990 euros, which is about 322,200 yuan, which is 2.5 times the price in China.
Some German netizens couldn’t stand it any longer, saying “Germans should no longer buy Volkswagens.”
Volkswagen immediately stated that the price difference between the two countries was caused by multiple factors.
firstThe Chinese market has production cost advantages, energy costs are lower.Second, this modelAll suppliers are from China, shorter transportation routes and lower production costs make the sales price even lower. Third, Volkswagen lowered its price because the “price war” provoked by Tesla intensified in the Chinese market.
In Volkswagen’s response, supply chain became key.
In the traditional automobile era, the traditional supply chain dominated by key components such as engines was basically controlled by European, American, and Japanese companies, and these supply chains were highly closed. But in the era of new energy development, the structure is changing, and Chinese suppliers occupy an increasingly important position.
The superposition of layer upon layer of supply cost advantages has created competitiveness and price advantages that are difficult to match for Chinese automobiles.
03.Will it not hinder the growth of independent brands?
The EU’s anti-subsidy investigation will inevitably affect the pace of Chinese car companies going global. Once the EU determines that the conclusion is established, exports to Europe may face punitive tariffs.
However, it’s like a coin that has two sides at the same time.
The EU’s anti-subsidy investigation will not only hinder Chinese car companies from going global, but will alsoIt forces Chinese car companies to accelerate the construction of overseas factories.It is reported that leading car companies such as SAIC, BYD, and Great Wall are already intensively preparing for localized production in Europe. The first batch of European local products is likely to be produced in Europe. Offline in 2025.
Ningde era has also long had plans to build factories overseas. The factory now opened in Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany, has successfully achieved mass production of lithium-ion battery cells. Five production lines will be put into operation in the future. The factory is expected to reach the initial production capacity target of 14GWh in early 2024. Its subsidiaries also invested in building a power battery industry chain project in Indonesia in April last year.
In addition, companies including Guoxuan Hi-Tech, Yiwei Lithium Energy, and Honeycomb Energy also have plans to set up power battery production lines overseas.
Although there is a huge investment in building factories in Europe, it may now be the only way for Chinese brands to go overseas, which will also makeThe entire overseas business is more complete and independent.
Regarding this latest survey, many people believe that there is no long-term logic that will hinder the rise of independent brands.
CITIC Securities believes that the current selling point of China’s electric vehicles is not low price, but competitiveness comes from technology accumulation, quality control, and user experience. At present, the EU’s potential policies and implementation time for Chinese electric vehicles are not clear. “We remain optimistic about the overseas competitiveness of Chinese electric vehicle products and are optimistic about the win-win model that Chinese car companies can explore in their overseas practice.”
Zhongtai Xin pointed out that the incident has nothing to do with power batteries and has nothing to do with the midstream of lithium batteries. It is expected that the probability of tariffs being reflected is unlikely. Even if it is eventually established, Europe currently accounts for a relatively small proportion of China’s export countries. It has no expectations for the current sales and performance of each company. Has little effect.