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Chinese electric car manufacturers are trying to establish themselves on the European market


Chinese electric car manufacturers are moving to Europe in the hopes of catching up with traditional car giants and gaining a share of the market that is growing as the continent seeks zero emissions.

In the past, Chinese carmakers’ efforts to penetrate the European market have been unsuccessful, but new players believe that thanks to their focus on electric cars, they have a chance this time, writes Reuters.

Most recently, the smaller Chinese carmaker Nio has decided to take the first step outside China and is launching sales in Norway. Nio is virtually unknown in Europe, although its value is around 57 billion USD (1.3 trillion CZK).

Other brands unknown to many Europeans that have started or plan to sell cars on the old continent include Aiways, Tang from the BYD automotive group, MG from the SAIC group, Dongfeng’s VOYAH or Great Walls’ ORA.

The European car market is crowded and dominated by well-known brands. In the past, it has proved unattainable for Chinese carmakers. Among other things, due to strategic mistakes or the opinion that China, long associated with cheap mass production, can not compete with quality.

Nio CEO William Li said Chinese carmakers may need up to ten years to gain a strong position in Europe. Che Xiaopeng, the director of electric car manufacturer Xpeng, expressed a similar opinion. However, these new players focused on electric cars believe that they finally have the opportunity to penetrate the lucrative market.

Sales of electric cars in the European Union more than doubled last year and increased by 130 percent in the first half of this year. Traditional manufacturers are still gradually converting their model lines to electric propulsion, so the hungry market is not flooded with a sufficient number of models.

“The market is not so busy yet, if we compare it with models with an internal combustion engine, where each of the large cars has a number of cars,” said Alexander Klose, director of foreign activities of the Chinese electric car manufacturer Aiways. “It’s an area where we think we have an opportunity.”

The carmaker Nio, like its rival Xpeng, chose Norway to start selling. Thanks to state support for electric cars, the country has become at the forefront of the transition to electric propulsion, and customers are used to electric cars there, which makes it easier to sell even unknown brands.

The new fact that Western carmakers such as BMW and Tesla now produce cars in China may have also weakened the earlier view of the low quality of workmanship, although it will probably be difficult to get rid of it completely. Klose assumes that the unsuccessful attempts by Chinese carmakers to enter the European market will probably no longer hurt current electric car manufacturers, because consumers have become accustomed to the fact that, for example, electronics come from China.

“The fact that more Chinese car manufacturers are entering the market will also help us, because it will make Chinese brands more accepted among consumers,” he added.

One example of a failed entry into the European market is the carmaker Brilliance. It hurt the company that its car received only one out of five stars in Germany in a crash test, the so-called crash test, in 2007.

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