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15 February 2017

Automotive & Tech. updates : February 3rd week

Hyundai may buy Chinese batteries amid political tension

Hyundai Motor Co. said Wednesday that it may buy batteries from Chinese companies for a planned China plug-in hybrid after South Korean battery makers failed to make a list of approved vendors last year.

The decision comes amid growing concern in South Korea that Beijing may be retaliating over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system. China argues the defense system could undermine its security.

Hyundai to enter China's luxury market with Genesis brand

Hyundai Motor Co. will launch its stand-alone Genesis luxury brand in China within two to three years, as the Korean automaker tries to compensate for thin profits in China's mass-market segments.

Rolling out Genesis in key markets such as China marks a shift for a company, which lacks the brand cachet and tradition of Germany's BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Those brands dominate the luxury market globally and in China.

Hyundai Motor said it was considering a Chinese battery for a plug-in hybrid version of its Sonata sedan to be sold in China.

Mercedes sales soar in January

Mercedes-Benz deliveries in China soared 39 percent to 58,799 vehicles in January on strong sales of its long-wheelbase sedans.

The German automaker said its top-selling models in China were the stretched C- and E-class sedans and the GLC compact crossover.

Mercedes, the No. 3 luxury brand in China, has been gaining market share at the expense of rivals Audi AG -- China's top luxury brand -- and No. 2 BMW.

Nissan venture fined for EV subsidy fraud

Nissan Motor Co. became the first foreign automaker punished by Chinese regulators for selling substandard electric vehicles to obtain government subsidies.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revoked Zhengzhou Nissan's production permits for three models equipped with electric motors and batteries from uncertified suppliers.

The ministry also temporarily suspended the company's eligibility for EV subsidies.

Zhengzhou Nissan is a joint venture between Nissan Motor Co. and Dongfeng Motor Co.

GM to launch 18 new, redesigned models in China this year

 General Motors says it will launch 18 new and redesigned models in China in 2017, with a heavy emphasis on the fast-growing crossover market.

According to GM, half the models will be SUVs or multipurpose vehicles for GM's China brands, which include Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling.

The new models will help GM keep pace with Volkswagen AG, which plans to introduce 10 new crossovers and SUVs in China by 2020. Last year, GM's Chinese joint ventures sold 3.87 million vehicles, while Volkswagen's partnerships sold 3.98 million.

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