German automakers including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have demonstrated their commitment to the Chinese market by participating in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) for the fifth straight year.
The German carmakers displayed their latest electric vehicle models at the fifth CIIE in Shanghai. In recent years, they have invested in smart factories, R&D centers and software companies in China to cash in on the world’s largest auto market.
“The CIIE is a very important platform for imports and exports. It underlines the importance of the Chinese market, and is an opportunity for us to showcase not only our important products and technologies but also reflect how we feed these cutting-edge models and technologies back into the local production and development process,” said Hubertus Troska, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG responsible for Greater China.
Mercedes-Benz displayed seven models at its CIIE booth, including some high-end luxury models with specific customization options such as exterior color choices. This demonstrates how the company has adapted to the trend of personalized and youthful consumption in the Chinese market.
Consistent with the trend of software-defined automobiles, Mercedes-Benz has the most comprehensive R&D network outside of Germany in China, with R&D centers in Beijing and Shanghai.
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It is currently in talks with local authorities and working on launching pilot Level 3 autonomous driving projects in three Chinese regions. It will gradually expand its autonomous driving technologies to all of China after compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Volkswagen has also stepped up its technological investment in China. It announced in October that its software subsidiary CARIAD has established a joint venture with Chinese automotive chip company Horizon Robotics, in which Volkswagen holds a 60 percent stake with an investment of about 2.4 billion euros.
Partnering with Horizon Robotics will undoubtedly strengthen our advantage in the Chinese market, and the two companies will jointly develop autonomous driving services, said Chang Qing, CEO of CARIAD’s subsidiary in China.
At this year’s CIIE, CARIAD’s subsidiary in China presented an innovative software application Neon that enables flexible control of lights in all automobile parts through software configuration.
BMW exhibited its fully electric models as well as iFACTORY strategy at the CIIE. BMW enjoyed robust growth amid a market boom for new energy vehicles in China. Sales of its fully electric models surged 65 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2022.
“The CIIE plays an important role in promoting economic globalization and open trade and thus underscores China’s strategic attitude towards a continuous opening-up policy,” said Oliver Zipse, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
“At the BMW Group, we see tremendous potential in continuing to build strong ties and foster cooperation between China and Germany. I am looking forward to many such opportunities in the future,” Zipse added.
Originally published by Xinhua