The vast majority of cars in the world's biggest auto market are purchased new, but a second-hand trade is beginning to emerge in China despite traditional buyer reluctance — and foreign manufacturers are hoping to benefit. In China one used car is sold for every four new vehicles, the opposite of Europe and the United States, where around three used cars are sold to every new one.
German industrial group ThyssenKrupp plans to invest more than 800 million euros ($866 million) in North America by 2020 to take advantage of the economy's reindustrialization. "We are profiting from economic growth and the renaissance of manufacturing in the USA. ThyssenKrupp increased its sales in North and Central America by 8 percent to 9.04 billion euros in its 2013/14 fiscal year, most of which were in materials distribution, elevator technology and automotive components.
Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's upgraded Renault on Wednesday to investment grade due to the French carmaker's improving financial health and profitability. S&P said it had lifted its rating on the company to BBB-, the lowest level on its scale considered as investment grade, from BB+. "The upgrade reflects our view that Renault will maintain strong credit ratios in the next two years and gradually improve the profitability of its core automotive division," S&P said in a statement.
Norway is reviewing its subsidies for electric vehicles after generous government incentives made the country the biggest user of battery powered cars in the world, hurting state revenues, the finance ministry said. Norway registered its 50,000th electric car on Monday, almost three years earlier than expected thanks to government schemes that have cut taxes and provided a plethora of benefits, including an exemption from tolls and parking fees, free recharging stations and the use of bus lanes. A fifth of all new cars sold in Norway have been electric so far this year and tiny Norway, with just 5.1 million people, accounted for a third of all European battery powered car sales last year, official data showed. “Our goal is to present a final agreement on the review of the future of automotive and fuel taxes,” the finance ministry said.
By Norihiko Shirouzu and Joseph White SHANGHAI/DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co's global premiere of its redesigned Taurus sedan in China underscores a shift in its U.S. home market from the big sedan to roomier, utilitarian crossover SUVs. There's a similar trend in China, the world's biggest car market, but there is still a decent appetite among Chinese buyers for large sedans while, in the United States, demand has stagnated. According to research firm IHS Automotive, China's market for large sedans has overtaken the United States, with sales of around 4 million last year, topping the 3.6 million sold in the U.S. By 2020, IHS expects that gap to have widened to 5.3 million large sedans in China and 3.7 million in the U.S. Ford unveiled the Taurus redesign, which it says is aimed specifically for the Chinese market and won't be for sale in the U.S., at a media event on Saturday ahead of the Shanghai autoshow.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd deepened its push into the automotive business on Friday, saying it had struck a partnership with Shanghai General Motors (GM) to offer online sales and financing for GM cars. Currently, Shanghai GM's Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet brands are available for sale on Alibaba's TMall.com website, and the two companies said they would collaborate by using Alibaba's big data analysis to serve ads to prospective car buyers, offer loans and provide after-market services. Alibaba, the world's biggest e-commerce company, unveiled this week the creation of a new "smart living" division that would link Internet-related services to various kinds of everyday products, from televisions and home appliances to cars. Almost 50 car brands and 10,000 dealerships have partnered with Alibaba in China, the company said.
China is crucial to foreign carmakers as the world's biggest auto market, but slowing economic growth and a corruption crackdown are denting its appeal as they gather for the country's premier industry show. Vehicle sales in China reached 23.49 million last year, well ahead of the United States, which it overtook in 2009. "The reality is, despite lower growth rates… the numbers in China are still the largest in the world," said London-based principal analyst for IHS Automotive, Namrita Chow. "It's still a big market for automakers to fight for market share." The downturn comes as growth in China, the world's number two economy, is faltering.