China Might Be Killing Its Own Car Industry

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1st Gear: China Is Pushing EVs Hard, Which Is Good For Aluminum

China is hoping to not destroy the environment any more than it needs to and it's going to require government fleets be at least 1/3rd alternative energy powered in just a couple of years.


That's not nothing as the Chinese government is rather large, and the impacts are positive if you make aluminum reports Bloomberg:

Shipments of automotive aluminum may climb to as much as 25 percent of total sales by 2020 from the current 9 percent of 3 million metric tons, as new emissions rules restrict the use of steel, Novelis Vice Chairman Debnarayan Bhattacharya said in August. The share of beverage cans, which are less profitable, will fall to 50 percent from about 60 percent.

Well, good for them.

2nd Gear: China Is Pushing Eco Hard, Which Is Bad For Chinese Carmakers


We sometimes marvel at how China can continue to pump out the same rebadged 1980s Jetta year-after-year, but these are good cars that are reasonable transportation for people who can only afford reasonable transportation.

And yet... that's not going to work if China is going to curb its emissions problem.

The Chinese government last week unveiled tough penalties tied to the new fuel economy rules - from naming-and-shaming those who fail to make the grade to restricting production at non-compliant automakers.

Per Reuters:

"Restricting production is a very severe penalty," said He Hui, an analyst at the International Council on Clean Transportation, an adviser to China's government on fuel-economy policies. "Chinese carmakers lag far behind foreign firms in their technology repertoire, so the rules add pressure to those already struggling domestic brands."

By next year, all car makers in China, the world's biggest autos market, will be required to achieve average fuel economy of 6.9 liters per 100 km (around 41 miles per British gallon or 34.1 miles per U.S. gallon) across their product line-up. By 2020, the target will have been made more stringent to 5 liters per 100 km (56.5 mpg in Britain or 47 mpg in the U.S.).


It's worth mentioning that about a third of the automakers missed the current standards, which aren't as tough, and they're mostly the scrappy locals.


3rd Gear: China Loves SUVs And Likes Buying Local


Jaguar Land Rover can make 130,000 units a year in their new factory outside Shanghai, which is good news if you want a slightly cheaper Evoque and live in China.

As Bloomberg points out, Jag thinks it can cut prices by 15% with the local savings, which they'll be able to pass on to consumers and super boost their global sales.


The Chinese are just like the Americans in their tastes: They want SUVs, they want them nice, and they want them cheap.


4th Gear: EV Focus Is Even Cheaper Now


It is not hard to buy an electric vehicle for cheap. Sure, the Teslas aren't cheap, but basically every other EV on the market is either severely discounted or given away with lease deals that are basically money-losing nonsense.

Add to that list the Ford Focus EV which, according to USA Today, will see another price cut to $29,995, which means that it's now about $10,000 below the original list price.


Oh, and that's before a possible $7,500 federal tax credit and not including any local state tax credits you get. At some point, the damn car is going to be free.


5th Gear: A NHTSA Chief Coming Soon


We have sort of a strange relationship with NHTSA here at Jalopnik. For the most part, people at the agency (and at DOT in general) have been helpful when we've done stories and generally seem to have the best interest of motorists in mind with everything they do.

On the other hand, it's the government agency we're most closely watching and by our nature we're always going to butt heads. We're now paying attention because as David Shepardson points out, we're on the verge of getting a new NHTSA boss.


The handling of the GM and Jeep recalls haven't been great, although I'm not sure how much of that really falls on acting boss David Friedman and how much falls on the last guy, David Strickland.


I'm also not sure how much his presentation before Congress endeared him to that body, so we'll see what ends up happening.

Reverse: Always Cool To Remember Your Hero

On this day in 1929, the 50th birthday of the incandescent light bulb, Henry Ford throws a big party to celebrate the dedication of his new Thomas Edison Institute in Dearborn, Michigan. Everybody who was anybody was there: John D. Rockefeller Jr., Charles Schwab, Otto H. Kahn, Walter Chrysler, Marie Curie, Will Rogers, President Herbert Hoover—and, of course, the guest of honor, Thomas Edison himself. At the time, the Edison Institute was still relatively small. It consisted of just two buildings, both of which Henry Ford had moved from Menlo Park, New Jersey and re-constructed to look just as they had in 1879: Edison's laboratory and the boarding-house where he had lived while he perfected his invention. By the time the Institute opened to the public in 1933, however, it had grown much more elaborate and today the Henry Ford Museum (renamed after Ford's death in 1947) is one of the largest and best-known museums in the country.




Neutral: Would You Buy The EV Focus? How cheap would it have to be?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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