TURIN – The price war on the electric car front in China, necessary to avoid further decreasing the demand for cars which is already slowing down, is relaunching the manufacturers who have not abandoned the road and the development of hybrid engines. This is the revenge of the hybrid in the Land of the Dragon where it was thought, given the flourishing of producers and startups linked solely to battery-powered cars, that only electric could now have citizenship. Hybrid sales are increasing in China and this is likely to be the case a new threat to foreign producers, also on Western markets, starting from the European one.
Consumers in China are attracted by vehicles with a long range, lower consumption than petrol cars and above all with a competitive price compared to cars with traditional combustion engines. This could also happen soon on other markets where a Chinese product would arrive at more affordable prices.
A trend that second Reuters it could provide a glimmer of hope for global automakers, such as Japan’s Toyota and Honda, which are pursuing electrification strategies on multiple fronts. Sales of electric vehicles are not only losing momentum in China, but also in Europe and the United States, due to the cost of cars, a lack of adequate incentives in some countries and partly due to high car financing costs. One-third of total vehicle sales by Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, are hybrid vehicles, and the company reported a 34 percent increase in hybrid sales in the middle two quarters of the year, outpacing growth of 9 % of total revenues.
Experts warn that foreign brands now face a growing threat from Chinese and broader Asian rivals who have cornered the domestic hybrid market and are looking abroad, encouraged by their strength as a maker of low-cost electric vehicles to the world after huge investments in supply chains. Even European manufacturers that have not given up on developing the hybrid will be able to take advantage of the opportunity, provided they manage to be competitive in terms of prices.