Auto China 2024

Touchdown in Beijing for Auto China 2024!

 

I am excited to dive into the dynamic world of China’s automotive industry, marking my return after 5 years since I was studying in Shanghai.
 
During this time, I see significant changes in China’s automotive landscape. Five years ago, German OEMs with their ICE models such as the Volkswagen Passat, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A6, co-manufactured with their Chinese joint venture partners, were dominating the roads with their long wheelbase.

 

Fast forward to today and the scene has changed. Chinese EVs, from established giants like SAIC, Changan, and Cherry to ambitious startups like Xpeng, NIO, Arcfox, Aito, Aion, Leapmotor, and Rising Auto, are everywhere. Tech powerhouses like Xiaomi and Huawei have also entered the game with new vehicles, intensifying the competition with their focus on tech-driven mobility with AI, augmented reality, and hyperscreens. All of these vehicles have modern, sleek designs and are powered exclusively by EV drivetrains.

 

It will be interesting to see which Chinese brands win the race in Europe, especially with the threat of anti-subsidy tariffs and declining EV sales. Many players have overseas growth ambitions, and the Chinese government is helping by investing heavily in the industry; China is already the world’s largest exporter of cars. The presence of several retailers and dealer groups at the show shows the importance of close distribution networks, which could provide a better customer experience than direct sales models.

 

What will the next few years bring for German OEMs in China?
While established German brands are likely to maintain their dominance in the sports and luxury segments, the volume and mid-range segments are vulnerable to disruption from modern Chinese players.
I am curious to see what the next days will bring during this trip to China!

Berend Hoitink​

Consultant & Manager Business Development

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