Status: 18.09.2023, 11:59 a.m.
By: Sebastian Oppenheimer
The EU has announced its intention to take action against Chinese low-cost electric cars. In China, people don't like to hear that – and react indignantly.
It wasn't too long ago that cars from China were more of a curiosity. At trade fairs in China, there were sometimes brazen copies of established manufacturers or rather questionably designed vehicles. In terms of quality, too, the reputation was anything but good: In crash tests, the Chinese cars often performed disastrously – such as the Suda SA01 once did. But all that is history. In the meantime, thanks to the boom in electric cars, the Chinese are competitive – also when it comes to safety. But above all, the price of Chinese electric cars is now calling the EU onto the scene. They want to take countermeasures – China is not very happy about it.
E-cars from China: European carmakers on alert
The fact that cars from China are now making life difficult for European manufacturers is shown by a statement by the European automobile association ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles): Chinese brands and Chinese-made vehicles are "quickly" pushing into the European market for electric vehicles, it says. "Supported by public money and government intentions," it is no secret that China's automotive industry poses a challenge to manufacturers in Europe, said ACEA director Sigrid de Vries.
Numerous Chinese carmakers were also represented at the IAA Mobility in Munich. (Symbolic image) © Manfred Segerer/Imago
"Distorts our market": Chinese e-car subsidies are a thorn in the side of the EU
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen now wants to counteract this. She announced that the EU will launch an investigation into state support for electric cars from China. "The price of these cars is artificially depressed by huge state subsidies – this distorts our market," von der Leyen said in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This approach is unacceptable. More and more Chinese brands are now also available in Europe.
China "concerned" about the EU's announcements: "protectionist behavior"
Beijing reacted angrily to the EU's announcements regarding electric cars. China is concerned and dissatisfied with this matter, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing. China assumes that the investigative measures serve to protect European industry. This constitutes "blatant protectionist behavior" that will seriously disrupt and distort the supply chains of the global auto industry and negatively impact Sino-European economic and trade relations.
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In several sectors of the economy: EU wants to reduce dependencies on countries such as China
Measures are currently underway in several sectors of the economy to reduce the EU's dependence on countries such as China and to protect domestic companies. In March, for example, the EU Commission presented a proposal for a law on the supply of raw materials. This is to ensure that the EU does not remain dependent on imports from individual countries such as China for key raw materials. (With material from dpa)