The number of new energy passenger cars (EVs and PHEVs) sold in China within the first four months of 2022 has more than doubled to 1.49 million units compared to 2021. Apart from Tesla, in third place, there are no other global brands present in China’s top 10 list for new energy vehicles (NEVs).
Chinese locals are constantly looking at Chinese brands such as BYD, Wuling, Cherry, and Xpeng when it comes to EVs and PHEVs due to what they are able to offer, particularly in terms of smart tech integration within the Chinese market. Other giant brands like General Motors and Volkswagen are losing out and losing out fast because of this.
Tesla is only third in China?
BYD alone sold around 390,000 EVs so far this year, which is around three times more than what Tesla is doing so far in China. Locals there stated that other global brands besides Tesla are too far away from their lifestyle which consists of the heavy use of apps like Alipay and Taobao, which they can use within the cars offered by the local Chinese brands.
Chinese brands have successfully incorporated these features into their EV offerings, plus over-the-air updates mean that their vehicles will always be up to date with the latest features important for the Chinese people. What they want is not just a car that suits their daily needs, and other aspects like power and speed are simply out of the equation for them in the decision-making process.
‘Smartphone-like’ experience is the way to go
In other words, Chinese EVs offer smartphone-like experiences that people have become accustomed to and are very comfortable dealing with on an everyday basis. This is what global brands have been losing out on, and their control over the Chinese auto market has significantly dropped to less than 20% (it was around 60-70% back in the 1990s).
General Motors and Volkswagen are going out of their way with their own determined strategies on how they can retake the Chinese market by 2030. From what they’ve come to understand, whatever that works in other markets like Europe won’t have the same effect in China.
Considering that China’s EV market is at an all-time high of $500 billion, getting a piece of that pie, even if it’s only a little sliver, is imperative to happy days ahead.