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Foreign automakers are in no rush to follow Beijing's plan to ramp up local output of EVs, but would rather take their time. Why? For the simple reason that they have gamed the government's carbon credit program.
Until recently, Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, seemed determined to build a global automotive empire. Now it appears that's only part of the story.
Huang Ximing was once a Ford engineer in the United States. He's now banking on that background to help make his Bordrin Motor a survivor in China's hypercompetitive EV market.
Industry trade groups and market research firms have produced various theories to explain why the market suddenly ran out of steam. But a website tracking peer-to-peer lending in China has provided one plausible factor.
Limits on housing market investments in China have real estate developers looking to the EV market for new money-making opportunities.
Beijing realizes that young domestic automakers can never beat global giants with traditional combustion-engine technology. The government has therefore bet on EVs, which it believes provide local companies with an opportunity to leapfrog rivals. Will the government's wishes come true? Probably not.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's government has allowed BMW and VW Group to gain control over local ventures ahead of their foreign rivals, giving the German automakers a big boost in the world's largest vehicle market.
The Chinese auto market is relatively healthy. Foreign automakers in China have had only one major challenge: how to ramp up electrified vehicle output. Now they have another headache.
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