The number of Chinese brands selling in Europe will reach double figures in 2022 as they seek to press what they consider a key advantage: an emphasis on electric vehicles.
European consumers are already buying China-built EVs in significant numbers.
Last year 16 percent of the 1.2 million EVs sold in Western Europe were shipped from China, data from Berlin-based analyst Matthias Schmidt shows.
The numbers include Tesla Model 3s and Model Ys exported from the company’s Shanghai plant, along with the China-built Dacia Spring and BMW iX3. But it also includes models from Zhejiang Geely Holding subsidiary Polestar, SAIC’s MG brand, Xpeng, Nio, BYD, SAIC’s Maxus, FAW’s flagship Hongqi brand, Aiways and Seres.
This year Great Wall will return to Europe with two brands, Wey and Ora, both significantly more upmarket than its previous sales push, which focused on small cars and pickups.
Geely will add its new premium electric brand, Zeekr, to its stable of Polestar and hybrid-angled Lynk & CO.
Meanwhile Dongfeng will launch its premium EV brand, Voyah.
The Chinese are taking advantage of an industry shift to electric, which allows to them to narrow the gap to far more established brands.
“This is giving us a huge push because others are just starting in this market. Everybody is starting from basically a clean slate,” Alexander Klose, head of overseas operations for Aiways, said. “We can really focus on EVs. That is our biggest advantage.”