Beijing Automobile Exhibition 2018
Nicolas Dubreucq - Zenith Services - 15/05/2018
    China, which hosted the global automotive industry in the Beijing Motor Show just a few weeks ago, has now establishing itself as the leading power of the sector where autonomous and connected car of the future are being developed.  
 
In February, Chinese carmaker Geely, who is the owner of the Swedish Volvo, became to everyone's surprise the largest shareholder in Germany's Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz). Dailmer is the world leader in high-end and landmark of the automotive history.  Taking up nearly 10% of the capital which symbolises a rise in power.  
 
"China is taking the global leadership of the automotive industry and is going to outrun Europe and America," said Ferdinand Dudenhöffer , director of the Center Automotive Research (CAR), based in Germany.  
The most obvious asset of the Middle Kingdom is the size of its market: it is by far the world's largest, with a gap that continues to widen against the United States, which has been relegated to the second place.  
 
In the year 2000, the Chinese market was embryonic, with just over 1% of the global sales of new cars.  In 2017, its share rose to nearly 29% and will increase to more than a third of sales in the coming years, according to CAR. At the same time, the share of the United States has decreased from 35% to 20%, with a forecast of 16% in 2025.  
 
With 28.9 million vehicles sold last year, and continuous growth, China should soon weigh as much as the United States and the European Union together!  
The Asian giant quickly developed its industry by welcoming the investments of foreign manufacturers, while forcing them to cooperate with local players in joint ventures of which they could not hold more than 50%.  
 
Beijing has just announced the gradual end of this constrain, a sign that the country is now strong enough to face foreign competition.  Chinese local brands are already gaining market share in their domestic market and they are preparing to set out and conquer the world.  
 
"By 2025, we will create with the Chinese manufacturers what we have already done with the Koreans," their arrival on the US and European markets, "but  it will be even bigger, with quality vehicles, electric cars», predicts Mr Dudenhöffer.

- Better than Silicon Valley -  
 
In addition to major manufacturers such as SAIC, a partner of Volkswagen and General Motors, or Dongfeng, who has partnered in particular with Renault, Nissan and PSA (of which it is the largest shareholder), China also has a pool of automotive start-ups, such as Lynk & Co, NIO or FMC.  
 
Already in the lead in terms of electric vehicles, "China wants to become the world leader in 21st century transport technologies, including connected and autonomous vehicles (...). It will happen within five to ten years" says Bill Russo, Director of Gao Feng Advisory.  
 
China has nothing to envy the United States for in terms of innovative companies: Baidu , Tencent or Alibaba on internet, CATL , the world's leading battery manufacturer, Huawei, telecom leader, Didi, the Chinese "Uber" ...  
 
 
Moreover, it is leading the way in the deployment of 5G, the ultra-fast mobile internet, a key technology for the car of the future, according to a study by the American Association of Telecommunications Operators (CTIA).  
The Chinese have "both huge automobile production and high-tech giants," said Guillaume Crunelle, automotive manager at Deloitte.  
 
Dudenhöffer believes that their ecosystem is even "better than that of Silicon Valley," according to him the trials around the accidents of autonomous vehicles in the United States will stop their innovation when China accelerates. For him, Europe is already unhooked ...  
 
He underlines the massive investments made by the Chinese government in universities and research, with a clear political will. 
 
What will be the next step of China's economic growth ?
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