It's not good the be the first to test the market

SAIC may roll out a hybrid version of the Roewe 750

SAIC will test the green car market in China with an hybrid Roewe 750 Sedan in 2010, according to a roadmap to building hybrid cars unveiled last week. The hybrid car will have a consumption diminished by 20% compared to its gasoline version. SAIC plan to output a Roewe 550 hybrid as well, but it is only in 2012. This Roewe 550 will be a plugin hybrid, which means it is all electric, while the Roewe 750 will be a classic hybrid. The two year of wait is explained by the fact that to deploy a network of electric "refueling" station, it needs time. This network is inexistant yet, which explains why BYD has great difficulties selling only one to the customers.

SAIC wil rely on its partnerships with GM and VW to do the reasearch and development, and will rely even more on the government to subsidize the purchase by average consumer of the hybrid cars. SAIC has already unveiled several "green" cars over the past couple of years, including a VW Passat Lingyu - a car developed specifically for the Chinese market - and a hybrid Buick LaCrosse sedan (called the Eco-Hybrid). SAIC will provide 1000 hybrid cars for the Shanghai Expo 2010

SAIC is preceded by Chery which rolled out an electric car by February 2009, Chery Motor will also output two hybrid models this year.

Until now, China has only given 5 manufacturing licenses to output 5 electric cars, including BYD's F3DM, Changan Jiexun and Toyota Prius. Who will sell the ost hybrid cars in 2009?

FAW has only hybrid buses scheduled

hybrid bus

FAW has less ambitious plan in the green car market.

aimed to make 100 hybrid buses and 20 hybrid sedans in 2009; 200 hybrid buses and 100 hybrid sedans in 2010; 450 hybrid buses and 200 hybrid sedans in 2011.

FAW as a major carmaker, is having small ambitions really, and seems more interested in the buses than the cars. The hybrid buses are already carrying test in the city of Dalian. Concerning the sedan, it seems at the moment to be the FAW Benteng.

Hybrid market in China won't take off unless

The Chinese government said in February that it would subsidize purchases of clean-energy vehicles for public service fleets in 13 cities and would provide 10 billion yuan ($1.47 bln) over the next three years to automakers to help update their technology and develop alternative energy vehicles. Is it a lot of money? We have few information about hte technology of the chinese green cars. Because Honda CEO has said once that BYD is not up to the game, what would Warren Buffett, the world's richest man, that invested 230 millions of USD in BYD, think of this critic?

Why would China has its chance in green cars?

China is still struggling to in the mastering ot the thermic engines. Having only 3 decades of experience in the car industry, the international players in this field are difficult to catch. It is usually hard to catch up late, but in the case of green car technology, China is only lagging a few years behind Toyota, and even less against the other car manufacturers. So China has its chance to be a big player without the need to work ten times harder than its competitors.


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