Auto Guangzhou spotlight focused on NEVs

As China’s last major car show of the year, Auto Guangzhou has attracted a stellar list of global manufacturers, ranging from BMW and Mercedes-Benz to Bentley and Lamborghini, along with local Chinese giants and startups. Of the 1,132 vehicles on display at the 10-day show, 469 (41.4%) are new energy models. A total of 59 are making their debut on the global stage in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, along with 20 concept vehicles. Local Chinese brands were underdogs in the age of gasoline vehicles, but homegrown NEVs and more ambitious strategies are now leveling the playing field for domestic manufacturers. According to Auto Guangzhou’s organizing committee, of the 469 NEVs on display, only 119 are foreign-built. China’s NEV manufacturers don’t excel only in numbers. At least three domestic marques – GAC Aion, SAIC MG and Dongfeng eπ, or ePi – are showcasing scissor-door or gull-wing-door designs that previously were only seen on models of super luxury brands like McLaren or Lamborghini.

Zeekr, the premium electric marque of Geely, unveiled its first sedan, the 007. Its all-wheel-drive version goes from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.84 seconds, the fastest in its class. With Tesla’s Model 3 and Xpeng G7 as its main rivals, the 007 received 5,000 orders in the first 30 minutes of pre-sales. Huawei has made plain its ambition to become deeply involved in the smart car market, with models including the AITO M9 and Luxeed S7 shown at the booth of Harmony Intelligent Mobility Alliance (HIMA). The Luxeed S7, a collaboration between Huawei and Chery, has an exterior designed by Huawei and sports the technology company’s Harmony operating system and 800-volt battery platform.

Meanwhile, Chery is showcasing 16 NEV models at its booth, where Zhang Guozhong, Executive Vice President of the Anhui province based company, said its goal is to join the ranks of China’s top NEV makers. Some of the models on display are the new Fengyun hybrids. Thanks to Chery Dual Mode (C-DM) technology, the Fengyun models have a fuel consumption of around 4.2 liters per 100 km. They have an electric range of up to 200 km, which extends their overall mileage to more than 1,400 km. Over the next two years, Chery will launch 11 hybrids bearing the Fengyun logo. Another Chinese automaker, Dongfeng, has for the first time brought together its three NEV marques — Aeolus, eπ and Nammi — to the public since the state-owned company released its NEV plan in August. According to Dongfeng, Aeolus offers both gasoline and NEV models, Nammi focuses on pure electric vehicles and eπ produces and sells both electric and range-extender models. Targeting the mainstream market, eπ will launch more than 10 models in the next three years.

International brands at Auto Guangzhou are offering a balanced mix of gasoline cars and NEVs. BMW’s booth features a number of heavyweight models, including its long-wheelbase 5 Series, the X2 and the electric i5. BMW sold 78,568 electric vehicles in China from January to October, up 211% year-on-year. Volkswagen is presenting 25 models at the show, including its electric ID. series and gasoline-powered Touareg and Teramont SUVs. Volkswagen is by far the most successful foreign car marque in China’s NEV market, with sales of its ID. series exceeding 20,000 units in October, thanks primarily to its ID. 3 hatchback. General Motors is showcasing 48 models bearing the Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet marques. The Cadillac Optiq and Buick’s Electra E5 are among NEVs built on GM’s Ultium platform. Cadillac said it will launch three new electric models in 2024, while SAIC GM, GM’s Chinese joint venture, said its NEV sales from January to October totaled nearly 70,000 units, the China Daily reports.