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China’s Assault On European Electric Car Market Gathers Momentum

China’s long-term plans to conquer the European electric car market aren’t causing many headlines yet but they are gathering strength and advancing under the radar.

When the pace accelerates, expect Chinese auto makers to attack the cheaper, mass market end of the market, which Europeans neglect at their existential peril.

I’ve just been driving the MG ZS EV, an all-electric compact SUV that is just shy of the top 10 selling models with 11,200 sales in Western Europe in the first 4 months of 2022, according to Schmidt Automotive Research. That puts it just under the 10th placed Hyundai Ioniq 5. MG currently doesn’t sell its cars in the U.S. MG has been owned by SAIC Motor Corp Ltd of China since 2007 , but buyers could be forgiven for thinking they were driving around in an iconic MG.

More about the MG ZS EV later, which is earning kudos in the market for its good value, comprehensive equipment, solid build and 7 year/80,000 mile warranty. It is priced about €10,000 ($10,450) under most of its direct competition.

There are few electric cars on sale in Europe that are overtly Chinese, but behind the scenes there has been much action, led by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese conglomerate led by Eric Li. Geely owns Volvo, which in turn controls electric car maker Lynk & Co, and Polestar, which make their electric cars in China. Among many investments in Europe, Geely also controls British sports car legend Lotus, and owns London black-cab maker London Electric Vehicle Company. Li owns nearly 10% of Mercedes-Benz, so these are serious ambitions.


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