Electric car makers woo Chinese buyers with range, features

ABC News | 4/15/2019 | Staff
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Automakers are showcasing electric SUVs and sedans with more driving range and luxury features at the Shanghai auto show, trying to appeal to Chinese buyers in their biggest market as Beijing slashes subsidies that have propelled demand.

Communist leaders wanting China to lead in electric vehicles have imposed sales targets. That requires brands to pour money into creating models to compete with gasoline-powered vehicles on price, looks and performance at a time when they are struggling with a Chinese sales slump.

General - Motors - Volkswagen - China - Geely

General Motors, Volkswagen, China's Geely and other brands on Tuesday displayed dozens of models, from luxury SUVs to compacts priced under $10,000, at Auto Shanghai 2019. The show, the global industry's biggest marketing event of the year, opens to the public Saturday following a preview for reporters.

On Monday, GM unveiled Buick's first all-electric model for China. GM says the four-door Velite 6 can travel 301 kilometers (185 miles) before the battery needs charging.

VW - Concept - SUV - ID - ROOMZZ

VW showed off a concept electric SUV, the whimsically named ID. ROOMZZ, designed to travel 450 kilometers (280 miles) on one charge. Features include seats that rotate 25 degrees to create a lounge-like atmosphere.

Communist leaders have promoted "new energy vehicles" for 15 years with subsidies to developers and buyers. That, along with support including orders to state-owned utilities to blanket China with charging stations, is helping to transform the technology into a mainstream product.

People - Mindset - Policies - E-cars - Country

"People's mindset and governmental policies are more encouraging toward e-cars than in any other country," said VW CEO Herbert Diess.

Electric vehicles play a key role in the ruling Communist Party's plans for government-led development of Chinese global competitors in technologies from robotics to biotech.

Ambitions - Beijing - Tariff - War - President

Those ambitions set off Beijing's tariff war with President Donald Trump. Washington, Europe and other trading partners complain Chinese subsidies to technology developers and pressure on foreign companies to share know-how violate its...
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