Chinese electric cars are now seen as a “real threat” to Europe’s auto industry
- Chinese electric cars pose a “real threat” to the European auto industry, according to Christian Camis, managing director of financial advisory firm Lazard.
- About 40% of the presenters at the IAA Mobility Conference in Munich are from Asia, while the number of Chinese companies present has doubled compared to last year.
- “I don’t think we’re still in the stage where they underestimate the Chinese,” Camis said.
A BYD electric sedan during the media day of the Munich Auto Show (IAA) in Munich, Germany, on Monday, September 4, 2023.
bloomberg | bloomberg | Getty Images
Chinese electric cars pose a “real threat” to the European auto industry, according to Christian Camis, managing director of financial advisory firm Lazard.
Camis spoke from the IAA Mobility Conference in Munich, where the number of Chinese companies has skyrocketed since the last event.
About 40 percent of conference attendees are from Asia, while the number of Chinese exhibitors attending has more than doubled from 29 in 2021 to 75 this year, according to IAA Mobility. Nearly 750 exhibitors from 38 countries are participating in the exhibition.
Camis said the increase in the presence of Chinese companies shows that these companies “already own the European market … as the next market they want to conquer.”
These comments reflect the views of Chinese automakers, who have emphasized that Europe is a key part of their global expansion plans.
Warren Buffett-backed automaker BYD launched the Seal electric sedan for Europe on Monday, while Hangzhou, China-based Leapmotor said its SUV will be available in Europe next year.
Similarly, Xpeng has announced plans to sell its cars in Germany in 2024, after already entering the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Dutch markets.
“We realize that Germany is the most important market and the highest standards for everyone,” Brian Guo, president of Xpeng, told CNBC in an interview on Monday.
Swiss bank UBS has gone so far as to downgrade two major European automakers due to the threat posed by the expanding electric vehicle market in China.
Christian Camis told CNBC that European automakers are well aware of the competition caused by Chinese firms.
“(European automakers) now realize that Chinese (automakers) pose a real threat. The question is what to do about it,” Camis said.
He added, “I don’t think we are still in the stage where they underestimate the Chinese.”
Renault Chief Executive Luca de Meo said on Monday that the French automaker continues to increase its investment in new technologies, particularly in its new electric vehicle unit, Ampere, which he believes positions the company well against international competition.
“We think we have the argument and the confidence to cut costs, and it’s going to take some time because the Chinese OEMs, they started a generation earlier than the Europeans because the market conditions were different in China, so that’s the fight, and we’re ready to get involved,” De Meo told CNBC.
Chris Reiterman, Ogilvy’s CEO for Asia Pacific and Greater China, told CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng on Aug. 25 that China’s progress in electric vehicles in Europe can also teach European countries how they can better penetrate the Asian market.
“A lot of multinationals are suffering because they underestimated the speed of electrification, which is probably a good lesson in how multinationals should conduct their business if they want to be successful in China,” Reitermann said. Video interview.
“A lot of the big auto companies stand on the sidelines and watch their market share destroyed,” he said.
“Now most of them realize that they probably won’t be able to do it themselves, they probably won’t be able to succeed in China themselves, and that’s why I saw Volkswagen partner with Xpeng and I think you’ll see more of that as some of the local EV guys will partner with multinationals. “
— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal, Evelyn Cheng and Elliott Smith contributed to this report.
(Tags for translation) Asia Economy