Overseas expansion of Chinese OEMs under the Belt and Road Initiative

Automakers shifting from exports to local production

2018/10/09

Summary

 China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which the country has called a national growth strategy, is the abbreviation for the Silk Road Economic Belt initiated in September 2013 in Kazakhstan, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiated in October in Indonesia. According to an announcement by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, the country newly invested USD 7.4 billion in 55 countries in the Belt and Road Initiative area in the first half of 2018. In September 2018, the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation, which takes place every three years, was held in Beijing, and an economic cooperation of roughly USD 60 billion was announced.

 In accordance with the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese automakers also have promoted exportation and local production in newly emerging Asian countries, as well as in Africa. The SAIC Motor Group manufactures vehicles locally in Thailand and Indonesia and is newly promoting production in India as well. The Dongfeng Motor Group handles a wide range of vehicle models, ranging from passenger vehicles to large-size trucks. The BAIC Group’s South African plant, which was the largest overseas investment that any Chinese automaker has ever made, came on stream. Its subsidiary, Foton Motor, sells vehicles such as pickup trucks and large-size trucks over an expansive region. The GAC Group not only established a research and development facility and design center in the U.K., but also announced its entry into the U.S. market in 2019. The Geely Auto Group, which is experiencing healthy sales in China, invested in Proton and released jointly developed models in Malaysia. In the future, Geely plans to use Malaysia as an export base. Additionally, Lynk & Co brand of connected cars will be manufactured in Belgium. BYD established EV bus production facilities in Europe, North America, and South America, and is participating in the public transport areas in Morocco and Brazil.

 This report will primarily cover the top Groups in terms of vehicle sales in the first half of 2018.

Related reports:
The Chinese market in 2017: 3% increase to 28.879 million vehicles, SUVs exceed 10 million vehicles (Mar. 2018)
The first half of 2018 in the Chinese market:14 million vehicles sold, growth rate of 5% (Aug. 2018)
Thai vehicle production expected to grow to 2 million units in 2018 (Apr. 2018)
India: Vehicle sales grow to 3.76 million units; electrified vehicle adoption policy introduced(Mar. 2018)
Indonesia: Market size recovers to a level of 1.1 million vehicles, local production advances (Sep. 2018)