Present in force at the Munich Motor Show, Chinese brands are beginning to establish themselves well in Europe. But who are they?
The automotive industry is changing, and Chinese car brands are increasingly positioning themselves to expand their footprint in the European market.
Still relatively unknown to the general public in Europe, these manufacturers stood out at the recent Munich Motor Showthus marking their ambition to conquer the European market.
But who are these Chinese manufacturers and what is their story? We are not going to overwhelm you with information in this article, but simply give you some elements to help you better identify them.
Founded in 1995, BYD (Build Your Dream) initially specialized in the design and manufacture of batteries. In 2003, the Shenzhen-based group in southern China expanded its business to become a major player in electric mobility.
Last year, BYD halted production of thermal cars to focus exclusively on hybrid and electric models. The brand recently entered Europe via Norway and has since expanded its presence throughout Europe, including France, with the Atto 3, Dolphin and other Seals.
Former British brand bought by the Chinese equipment manufacturer SAIC in 2007, MG is one of the most established Chinese brands on the European market. By relocating production to China, MG managed to benefit from the notoriety of a Western brand while remaining competitive.
In France, MG stands out via sa MG4 in particular, an electric model whose base price does not exceed 30,000 euros, excluding the ecological bonus.
XPeng presents itself as one of Tesla’s serious competitors in China. Founded in 2014 and listed in the United States, the company has more than 10,000 employees worldwide, with offices notably in Silicon Valley.
5% owned by Volkswagen, XPeng entered the European market in 2021, selling its vehicles in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Founded in 1969, Dongfeng, which manufactures both cars and trucks, has become one of China’s leading automakers. At the Paris Motor Show last year, the group unveiled two models aimed at the European market.
This 100% electric young shoot, still little known outside of China, launched its first model in 2019 and already sells 10,000 vehicles per month in China. It plans to expand its presence in Europe after its arrival in France in the spring of 2023. For the moment, only one model is marketed here with the Leapmotor T03.
The Chinese group Geely acquired the Swedish brand Volvo in 2010. In partnership with Volvo, it launched the Lynk&Co brand to target a young and connected clientele in Europe.
Geely also owns the Zeekr brand, which has delivered 140,000 vehicles in China and plans to expand into Europe, the Middle East and other Asian markets.
Although missing at the Munich Motor Show, the start-up Nio, founded in 2014 in Shanghai, has already started selling its models in China in 2017, then established itself in Europe, in particular in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.
Nio has global ambitions and aims to become one of the five largest manufacturers in the world by 2030. The brand recently made headlines with its “battery exchange” stations, allowing an empty accumulator to be replaced by a full tank in less than five minutes.
Founded in Shanghai in 2017 by former Volvo China sales people, the 100% electric brand Aiways has a research and development center in Germany and already markets two models in Europe, notably in France and Belgium.
Unfortunately for Aiways, everything does not necessarily go as planned, with very worrying figures in Europe and a restructuring planned within a few months.
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