Host John Batchelor talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, about the 2013 Shanghai auto show. Batchelor had heard that Great Wall Motors, the largest SUV maker in China, would be the first Chinese automaker to enter the United States in volume. The key word is in volume. BYD’s Chairman Wang says they will start selling a plug-in hybrid in the United States in 2015. BYD is already in the United States, not in volume, but they are in the United States. Long Beach, CA just procured 10 electric buses from them, they have exported 11 electric-powered e6 hatchbacks to the United States as part of a pilot program for fleet sales. At the 2013 Shanghai auto show BYD Chairman & CEO Wang Chuanfu unveiled the Qin (pronounced Ching) a plug-in hybrid that gets 118 miles per gallon. It is slated to come to America in 2015. According to Forbes Chairman Wang is number 77th of the richest Chinese person in China. Previously a Professor, Chairman Wang is now founder and CEO of BYD which also produces storage unit’s for electricity.
Toyota is still having issues in China, as are most the Japanese companies.
Batchelor and Hammond go through the story of how Buick came to be the number one selling American car in China. General Motors unveiled the Buick Riviera coupe concept
The two big items at the Shanghai auto show were SUVs and luxury vehicles. Jeep debuted the new Cherokee SUV. As most of you know, Fiat owns Chrysler Group, Jeep is part of the Chrysler Group. Fiat has a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group and will produce the vehicle at the plant they co-own. Mike Manley, President of Jeep, was at the Shanghai auto show and showed off the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Continental AG’s Dr. Cramer said that Continental sold it’s first Anti-lock braking system (ABS) in China in 1997, “we were the first in the Chinese market selling safety. Today we have 70% ABS in all cars.” Cramer compared China to Russia, Brazil and India, “we don’t see a pull for safety features in India, Russia is far behind, then Brazil.” Continental AG has 18 plants, manufacturing and research and development, fully-owned business activities and 8 joint ventures.