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Automakers see positives despite Chinese downturn

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:33s - Published < > Embed
Automakers see positives despite Chinese downturn

Automakers see positives despite Chinese downturn

China's biggest auto show is underway this week in Shanghai, and despite recent gloomy economic data out of China, automakers say they still see an opportunity in the world's biggest auto market.

Ed Giles reports.

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Automakers see positives despite Chinese downturn

The heavyweights of the global auto industry are launching new models and futuristic concept cars, with many now designed just for the Chinese auto market.

China's biggest auto show is underway this week in Shanghai.

But the glitz and glamour fall under the shadow of a Chinese economic slowdown, and a trade war between Washington and Beijing that's stretching into its second year.

Recent data's revealed auto sales shrinking for the first time since the 1990s.

But as Reuters' Joe White reports, the industry sees a light at the end of the tunnel.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS GLOBAL INDUSTRY EDITOR JOE WHITE, SAYING: "Here at the Shanghai auto show, auto industry executives are optimistic that things are going to start turning around by the second half of 2019.

There are a few reasons why they believe this, number one new products like this - the Jeep Gladiator pickup truck.

It's one of a bevvy of new sport utility vehicles that automakers are offering in China.

China's going SUV crazy and excitement over new models, could help rekindle demand.

Two, the Gladiator's made in the United States, and industry executives have their fingers crossed that very soon the United States and China will end their trade war, come to a new trade agreement, and give consumers confidence to open their wallets and start buying vehicles again." Companies like GM are now also targeting buyers in regional China, with less money to spend than people living in the bigger cities, like Beijing.

(Soundbite) (English) REUTERS GLOBAL INDUSTRY EDITOR, JOE WHITE, SAYING: "This is the Chevrolet tracker.

It's a new vehicle developed by General Motors and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industries, and the goal was to build a vehicle that looks sleek, does not look cheap, has internet connectivity, and power and room, but comes at a lower price point than GM's current Chevrolet or Buick models.

The goal is to get younger consumers, and less affluent buyers in China's middle class".

And even players at the top-end of the market, like BMW, say they still see opportunity.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PIETER NOTA, BOARD MEMBER OF BMW, SAYING: "For example the new BMW X3 is finding great resonance with customers in China.

And I'm quite confident about the premium segment in the automotive sector because of the growing middle class in China." China's hunger for electric is also a part of the industry's plans.

An Audi executive told Reuters they plan for up to 40% of their sales to be electric vehicles by 2025.




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