MG is accelerating the presence of Chinese electric cars in Europe, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

Paris: MG unveiled its fourth electric vehicle for the European market on Tuesday as Chinese automakers accelerate efforts to use zero-emission cars to gain traction in the region.

The MG4 is an all-electric sedan with a range of up to 450 kilometers (280 miles) and a competitive list price of 28,990 euros before any government incentives.

British brand known for its sports cars which went bankrupt in 2005, MG was bought by the Chinese giant SAIC.

While Chinese automakers have not made serious attempts to break into the European market with traditional combustion engine vehicles, they are slowly exploiting their advantage in electric cars.

Similar to SAIC, Chinese automaker Geely, owner of Volvo, is using Polestar to enter the European market with electric vehicles.

BYD, Nio and Wulung enter the market under their own brands.

“Chinese automakers abandoned the development of internal combustion vehicles because they soon realized that they would not be able to close the technology gap with Japanese, American and European automakers,” Jamel Taganza said. , vice-president of the consulting firm Inovev.

Instead, they focused their efforts on developing electric vehicles, which has now given them an edge, especially as Chinese consumer adoption has far outpaced that of other countries.

“When you produce 10 times more of certain models than your European counterparts, you develop arguably better craftsmanship and quality,” said José Baghdad, automotive consultant at PwC.

By comparison, Wuling sold 400,000 of its Mini EV vehicles last year, a mainstream supercompact priced at 4,000 euros, compared to 77,000 Zoe cars sold by Renault, Europe’s top-selling electric car.

Chinese automakers sold 80,000 vehicles in Europe last year, and that figure is expected to nearly double this year to 150,000, according to Inovev forecasts.

The fact that Chinese companies are at the forefront of battery development is also a plus for Chinese automakers.

However, they remain marginal on the European market for the time being.

“They know they don’t have strong brands, with some doubts” among European consumers, Baghdad said.

The absence of a network of dealers and garages may also deter European consumers at this stage.

China’s entry into Europe also comes at a time of great economic uncertainty as the continent faces an energy crisis and soaring inflation, but it gives them a chance to start learning about the market.

Chinese automakers also want to be ready in case an opportunity arises.

“There could be one if European automakers abandon the affordable vehicle or small car segment, for example,” Taganza said.

European car manufacturers have moved upmarket in recent years where margins are bigger.

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