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SAIC chief: NEV sector needs more support

Zhou Wenting
Updated: Mar 8,2019 10:57 AM     China Daily

Systematic policy support for new energy vehicles after 2020 should be considered immediately by the government to promote the sustainable development of the industry in China, the world’s largest and fastest developing market in this respect.

Chen Hong, a national lawmaker and Party secretary and chairman of SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, made the suggestion on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the national legislature.

He suggested that the current preferential policies, such as purchase tax and vehicle tax exemptions for new energy cars, should be extended to 2025 to avoid market challenges once all of the current supportive policies are withdrawn.

“Figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that the taxes regarding vehicle purchases and ownership in China are much higher than countries with a developed automobile industry, such as the United States and Japan,” Chen said.

In terms of road use, he suggested the authorities should issue policies guiding cities with traffic restrictions based on the last digit of license plate numbers to continue to implement unlimited policies on new energy vehicles.

“It doesn’t result in extra fiscal expenditure, and plays an important role in encouraging purchases of new energy vehicles,” Chen said.

China’s new energy vehicle sales reached 1.25 million last year, 17 times that of 2014. In 2018, sales of new energy passenger vehicles in the nation accounted for 40 percent of the global market share, Chen said.

He also suggested accelerating the development of the fuel cell industry by establishing special national supportive funds to better overcome technical difficulties and eventually encourage the public to purchase fuel cell vehicles.

Accelerating the construction of charging facilities is also key to the sustainable development of the new energy vehicle industry, said Xu Heyi, a national political adviser and chairman of Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.

The construction of charging facilities has not kept pace with NEV development, he said. By the end of 2017, the number of NEVs in the country was more than 1.7 million, while the number of public charging piles was only 214,000, far from the target of 4.8 million in 2020.

Xu suggested the authority to continue to improve the construction standards regarding NEV charging facilities at new residential communities and public parking lots. He also suggested accelerating the research and development of advanced charging technology.

As a domestic leader in whole-vehicle exports and overseas sales, SAIC Motor said some of its self-owned brands have entered mainstream brand lists across different categories, including internet cars.

For example, MG ZS, the first internet car model that the company has introduced overseas, has become popular among young consumers in Thailand and is one of the top performers in the category in the local market.

A global outlook has long been an advantage for SAIC Motor, which has set up three overseas whole-vehicle manufacturing sites in Thailand, Indonesia and India, and 11 regional marketing service centers in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, and a network of nearly 500 overseas marketing service sites.

Altogether, more than 270,000 vehicles from SAIC Motor were sold overseas last year, a year-on-year increase of more than 62 percent, making it the nation’s leading whole-vehicle exporter for three years in a row.

SAIC Motor’s operations in Thailand will focus this year on the upgrade of the internet of vehicles to ensure the sustainable development of new energy products, and in India it will introduce new internet vehicles, according to the company.