Mazda, Volvo and other automotive companies expand their projects in China

Japanese automaker Mazda Motor Corp has agreed with two Chinese partners to form a new venture in which it will have a 47.5% stake. China's state-owned Chongqing Changan Automobile will hold 47.5% in the new joint venture, Changan Mazda Automobile Co, while FAW will own the remaining 5%. Mazda's sales in China lag far behind other Japanese car makers. It sold 214,574 vehicles in China last year, down from 227,750 in 2019. Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor all sold over 1 million cars in China in 2020.

Volvo said it had struck a deal to buy the heavy-duty truck subsidiary of Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) for about USD125.7 million to make trucks in China. The business includes a manufacturing site in Taiyuan, Shanxi province. Volvo said it aimed to start production of its new heavy-duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks there at the end of next year. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 15,000 trucks within a few years, with the potential to increase capacity further, Volvo said. U.S. automaker Ford holds a stake in JMC, which makes Ford-branded vans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in China. Global truck makers are planning production in China due to the booming logistics sector, including e-commerce, and new orders as authorities introduce increasingly tougher safety and emission regulations.

Scania, a unit under Volkswagen's commercial vehicle arm Traton, is building a wholly owned factory, while a joint venture between Daimler and Foton said it would make Actros heavy-duty trucks.

Changan aims to sell 3 million vehicles in China a year by 2025 and 4.5 million annually in 2030, Chairman Zhu Huarong said. Zhu said 35% of its sales in 2025 will be new-energy vehicles (NEVs), including battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. In 2030, he said, 60% of its sales will be NEVs. Sales outside China will account for 30% of its business in 2030, Zhu added. Changan, which operates a joint venture with Ford Motor, sold 2 million vehicles last year. Changan, based in Chongqing, is developing electric vehicles (EVs) with Huawei Technologies and battery maker CATL. It plans to invest CNY150 billion in the smart EV industry in the next five years. China is accelerating development of EVs to improve vehicle technologies and combat pollution. Authorities expect 20% of overall sales in 2025 will be NEVs. Changan's local rival Geely aims to sell 3.65 million cars a year in 2025 while Great Wall Motor is targeting 4 million units annually by then, the Global Times reports.