Chinese Market Q4 2022: GAC, Changan, NIO, Xpeng and Others Set Up Battery Companies

Non-Chinese companies accelerate shift to electrification and connectedness



Battery plant funded by a GAC Group company (Source: GAC Group)

 According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) released on January 12, 2023, vehicle sales in China in 2022 increased by 2.1% year-over-year (y/y) to 26,864,000 units, of which passenger cars sales increased by 9.5% y/y to 23,563,000 units but commercial vehicles sales fell by 31.2% y/y to 3,300,000 units. Sales of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in the same period grew 93.4% y/y to 6,887,000 units, comprising 25.6% of the Chinese market. 

 This report presents key trends in the Chinese market for Chinese and major foreign automakers in the fourth quarter of 2022. Chinese automakers are developing the NEV industry chain in response to supply chain disruptions, including soaring drive battery prices and semiconductor shortages. Dongfeng Motor established a joint venture with Sunwoda Electronic Co., Ltd. (Sunwoda ) to establish a production base for drive batteries, while Changan Automobile and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL) agreed to establish a joint venture. GAC Group established its own battery and electric powertrain company, while Geely and Renault formed a powertrain joint venture. BYD is also promoting multiple NEV component projects in various parts of China. Great Wall Motor established a semiconductor-related subsidiary. Among emerging manufacturers, NIO Co., Ltd. (NIO) established a battery company, while Xpeng Motors (Xpeng) established an automotive technology and drive battery company.

 Major foreign automakers continue to accelerate their shift to electrification and connected systems. Nissan, SAIC GM, and Hyundai announced their strategic plans regarding these issues. CARIAD, a VW-owned software company, has formed a joint venture with Horizon Robotics to form an autonomous driving-related company. The Audi brand has installed charging stations in major cities in China. BMW's Shenyang production site will undergo a large-scale expansion for drive batteries. Toyota will begin NEV production in Tianjin and Guangzhou, as well as the manufacturing of Robotaxis in collaboration with Nissan will establish a mobility services company to operate driverless taxis and other services.

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