Car giants bullish in face of Chinese competition

Author: Greg Gowans
Car giants bullish in face of Chinese competition

At the recent ‘Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Europe’ Conference in Bonn, leaders in Europe’s car manufacturing sector spoke bullishly amid rising competition from rivals in China.

The keynote speech at the event was delivered by Dr Michael Nikolaides, senior vice-president of Production Network, Supply Chain Management and Logistics at BMW. 

“The automotive industry only works together [in partnership] and if we prepare and have the mindset of not being afraid of competitors coming to the market, be it from China or anywhere else in the world,”  told the audience. 

Earlier in the day, Jean-Christophe Deville, vice-president of Supply Chain at Toyota Motor Europe, also referred to the competition from Chinese manufacturers.

“The Chinese carmakers are doing very well, with hugely strong ambitions, but we don’t intend to just let them grow at our expense, we’re going to fight back. It’s a positive stimulus to us, as these new disruptors are waking us up,” said Deville.

The comments come as Chinese car manufacturers continue to ramp up their efforts to export more cars. BYD, for example, known for its production of electric vehicles, has plans to deploy as many as 8 carriers in the future to transport its vehicles overseas. Earlier this year, the company deployed a vessel capable of transporting 7,000 vehicles. It is reported that 2 of the aforementioned 8 vessels BYD wishes to deploy would have a similar capacity. 

BYD is expanding its sales network in Europe, including in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and by procuring its own vessels, the company hopes to significantly reduce its logistics costs. Chinese state-owned SAIC Motor is also deploying a similar logistics strategy. It is said to have plans to secure 14 carriers, including large vessels that can carry 9,000 cars, all within the next 3 years.