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Automakers Expect Global Market to Remain Mixed in 2016
   2016-05-02 07:44:55    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Jing

Photo taken on April 25, 2016 shows an EV of BAIC Group at Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China. [Photo: Xinhua]

International car manufacturers are expecting the auto market to remain mixed in 2016 despite global car sales that are predicted to rebound from their slowest pace in 6 years.

That seems to be the considered view of industry CEOs who have been attending the ongoing Beijing Auto Show.

CRI's Fu Yu has been listening to what they had to say.

 

IHS Automotive, part of global information company IHS, says global car sales expanded a mere 1.1 percent in 2015, the slowest since 2010. The rate is expected to pick up to 2.7 percent, but manufacturers say the market will likely continue to be mixed.

Mark Fields is the CEO of Ford Motor Company

"So you have the U.S. and Europe, which are solid. They are having moderate growth, which is good. China, we are experiencing growth coming off of the end of last year and the consumption tax reduction, which is helping the industry. Russia and Brazil, still very, very tough. Within our plan, but very, very tough and we expect it to be tough for quite some time."

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan-Renault, noted that the impact of the Volkswagen diesel-gate scandal had affected the market in some regions. Volkswagen admitted in last September to cheating on emissions testing of its "clean diesel" engines. But Carlos Ghosn said he was confident the sector would bounce back.

"Because of a lot of polemics going around diesel, we are seeing already the percentage of diesel in Europe going down. Consumers start to be a little bit wary about the future of this technology."

"This being said, this is a very important technology if you want to reach our objective in terms of limiting CO2, and particular in global warming. So I think we're going to have some kind of decline of the diesel, but I still think it's going to be one of the main technology for the car industry."

Besides the fueling issue, other car makers are banking on more driver assistance technology and e-mobility to woo more customers.

Peter Schwarzenbauer is a Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG

"We just launched a new product, which is called BMW Connected. We launched it in the U.S. They are going to roll out to worldwide. And it's basically you can imagine like your mobility companion, so it learns extremely about you -- what you prefer, and your mobility needs and it gets better and better the more it gets to know you. So at end of a day, it will take away a lot of the hassle you might have and will fulfill all your mobility needs."

Elsewhere, automakers like Daimler are looking to lure more wealthy Chinese buyers. The company has rolled out lifestyle marketing for Mercedes-Benz at its biggest market. Its Mercedes Experience Center in Beijing, for example, combines art, fashion, retail, food and beverage, but does not sell cars.

The 2016 Beijing Auto Show runs until Wednesday. With the theme of "Innovation to Transformation", the exhibition features mostly new energy vehicles, smart cars, and self-driving vehicles.

New energy vehicles featuring hybrid fuel cells account for a full 20% of the total.

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