Since bringing the COVID-19 outbreak under control, China’s automobile industry has also accelerated its “going out” to markets with the full resumption of work and production.
Photo taken on Oct. 26, 2020 shows the Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles at its gigafactory in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)
About 7,000 Tesla cars produced by the Chinese factory left Shanghai in late October and are expected to arrive at the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium in a month before being sold in Germany, France, Italy and other countries. It took just 10 months before the first batch of Chinese-made Model 3 was delivered, and less than two years after the opening of Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory.
“After the production capacity of the Shanghai factory climbed, not only could we meet the needs of Chinese consumers, but also bring our high-quality products to European customers. This is the first time we have tried to export our products to Europe, and it has laid a very solid foundation for our future exports, “said Song Gang, Tesla’s manufacturing director at the Shanghai site.
Zhang Xiang, an automobile industry analyst, said in an interview that at present, as the epidemic has been brought under control in China, the production capacity of the Chinese factory has recovered relatively quickly, and thanks to the use of the Chinese supply chain, quality can be guaranteed and manufacturing costs can be reduced at the same time.
According to statistics from the China Passenger Car Association, sales of new energy passenger vehicles in China in the first half of 2020 were 313,000, down 44.0 percent from the same period last year, while sales of new energy vehicles in Europe increased by 52 percent year-on-year to 403,000. Europe may surpass China to become the largest market for new energy vehicles in the world.
SAIC Motor Corp, a Chinese automotive design and manufacturing company, has launched a self-operated car-shipping route to Europe after witnessing a steady growth in vehicle shipments to European markets. A “ro-ro” (roll-on/roll-off) ship named the Anji Phoenix carrying some 1,800 SAIC new energy vehicles began its maiden voyage in October from Shanghai port to Europe.
“This route serves not only SAIC, but also the ‘going out’ of independent brands,” said Zhao Aimin, vice-president of SAIC Motor International Co.