Car sales in China shine as rest of world reels from virus #SootinClaimon.Com

#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Car sales in China shine as rest of world reels from virus

Oct 13. 2020A customer speaks with a sales agent at a Ford dealership in Shanghai on July 19, 2018. The automobile market in Asia's biggest economy is a lone bright spot as the pandemic dampens sales in Europe and the U.S. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Qilai ShenA customer speaks with a sales agent at a Ford dealership in Shanghai on July 19, 2018. The automobile market in Asia’s biggest economy is a lone bright spot as the pandemic dampens sales in Europe and the U.S. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Qilai Shen 

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · No Author · BUSINESS 
Demand for cars in China is going from strength to strength, making the automobile market in Asia’s biggest economy a lone bright spot as the coronavirus pandemic puts a damper on sales in Europe and the U.S.

Sales of sedans, SUVs, minivans and multipurpose vehicles jumped 7.4% in September from a year earlier to 1.94 million units, the China Passenger Car Association said Tuesday. That’s the third straight monthly increase, and it was driven primarily by demand for SUVs.

Passenger vehicle deliveries to dealers rose 8% to 2.1 million units, while total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, expanded 13% to 2.57 million, data released later by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

With auto sales in the U.S. and Europe still affected by covid-19, reviving demand in China is a boon to international and domestic manufacturers. It is set to be the first country globally to bounce back to 2019 volume levels, albeit only by 2022, according to researchers including S&P Global Ratings.

Automakers worldwide have invested billions of dollars in China, the world’s top car market since 2009, where the middle class is expanding but penetration is still relatively low. Brands from countries such as Germany and Japan have weathered the pandemic better than their local rivals — the combined market share of Chinese brands fell to 36.2% in the first eight months from a peak of 43.9% in 2017.

Auto stocks extended their recent gains Tuesday, with Great Wall Motor Co. and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. both advancing by the 10% daily limit, making them the best two performers on the CSI 300 Index of large caps.

Even as the Chinese auto market recovers, it may still record its third straight annual drop in sales, Xin Guobin, a vice minister at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said last month. That’s because of the heavy declines suffered at the start of the year, during the height of the outbreak.

Regardless, China’s importance is boosted by its focus on nurturing the electric-car ecosystem, a technology shift in which automakers have invested a great deal of time and money. Beijing wants new-energy vehicles to account for 15% or more of the market in 2025, and at least half of all sales a decade later.

Wholesales of NEVs, consisting of pure electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell autos, surged 68% to 138,000 units, a record for the month of September, according to CAAM.

Tesla Inc., which started deliveries from its Shanghai gigafactory at the start of the year, sold 11,329 vehicles, down from 11,800 in August, PCA said. The American carmaker ranked third in NEV wholesales last month, behind SAIC-GM Wuling Automobile Co. and BYD Co., PCA added.

PCA said it expects NEVs to help drive overall auto sales growth in the fourth quarter with the introduction of new, competitive models, while strength in the yuan will help lower costs locally.

Overall vehicle sales for the full year should be better than a previous forecast for a 10% contraction thanks to the recovery in demand, said Xu Haidong, deputy chief engineer at CAAM, without elaborating.

Ford brings the latest Mustang to Thailand #SootinClaimon.Com

#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Ford brings the latest Mustang to Thailand

Oct 08. 2020

By The Nation

Ford Thailand on Thursday announced it was making its new Ford Mustang 2020 available in Thailand. The new sports car comes in two variants – a 5.0L V8 GT Coupe Performance Pack and a 2.3L EcoBoost Coupe Performance Pack.

“We are proud to bring this iconic American heritage sports car to Thailand from Mustang’s greatest ever performance line-up,” said Wichit Wongwattanakan, managing director, Ford Thailand.

“The new Mustang 2020 continues its iconic performance and athletic style, and truly deserves the crown of being the best-selling sports coupe globally for five consecutive years.”

The new Mustang will be available in four colours – Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Rapid Red and classic Magnetic Metallic.

The Mustang 5.0L V8 GT Coupe Performance Pack goes for Bt4.99 million, while the Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Coupe Performance Pack for Bt3.7 million.

The Mustang, produced to mark the 55th anniversary of this Ford classic, has limited availability and can be booked at authorised dealers in Bangkok and select provinces.

Govt to accelerate EV push with more incentives for investors, consumers #SootinClaimon.Com

#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Govt to accelerate EV push with more incentives for investors, consumers

Oct 08. 2020

By The Nation

Thailand is mulling more tariff and excise tax cuts to boost use of electric vehicles (EV) and also create an EV manufacturing regional hub.

Many EV-manufacturing investors have already applied for privileges with the Board of Investment (BOI), but the high battery price was still making EVs too expensive for consumers, Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said on Wednesday.

The battery cost represents half of the total EV price. 

Currently, Thailand does not have the resources to manufacture batteries, so drawing foreign investors was difficult, Suriya admitted.

The solution to boosting use of electric vehicles was to cut tax on EVs and parts, he added.

EVs could be imported either as finished vehicles or as parts to be assembled in Thailand, he said.

“We may set a time limit on importing finished EVs, then wait for domestic demand to rise and prompt investment in [domestic] EV-parts manufacturing and charging stations,” the minister continued.

Wider adoption of EVs would help reduce air pollution, especially harmful PM 2.5 particles, he added.

To make Thailand a hub of EV production, the government must convince investors of Thailand’s potential to shift gear from manufacturing combust-engine vehicles. Investors must be supported to produce different types of EVs.

Over the past three years, the BOI has approved 13 EV-production projects with a combined capacity of 125,000 electric vehicles per year and total investment of about Bt156 billion.

The BOI is now considering extra incentives for EV production of pick-ups, buses, motorcycles, three-wheel vehicles and others, he said.

Existing incentives include waiving the 8 per cent excise tax rate until 2023, then collecting just 2 per cent from 2024 to 2025. 

However, EV prices remain high as of September with imports starting at Bt1.19 million.

To make the affordable prices of EVs, the ministry must push Thai production of EV and parts and batteries. 

The government may need to provide free charging and waive or reduce road and other taxes for EV users, he said, adding the proposals would be submitted soon to the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee for approval.

The industry will also accelerate building of EV infrastructure, including the national vehicle testing centre under construction in Chachoengsao province and set to launch in 2021. Meanwhile a battery-testing centre would be complete next month and start to operating next year.

The ministry is collaborating with Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) on drafting 57 standards for EVs, 21 of which have been announced with the remainder to be completed next year, he added.

Mazda doubles sales in third quarter as demand grows #SootinClaimon.Com

#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Mazda doubles sales in third quarter as demand grows

Oct 07. 2020

By The Nation

Mazda outlets in Thailand sold a total 10,664 autos in the third quarter – more than double the number achieved in the previous quarter.

Demand from new and existing customers had seen car sales recover from a Covid-driven slump in the second quarter, especially April and May, said Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk, president of Mazda Sales (Thailand).

Mazda sales in Q3 rose more than 100 per cent from the 5,256 units sold in Q2.

In September, Mazda sold 3,917 autos, its highest monthly total since January. The September total consisted of 2,049 cars, 1,082 SUVs and 786 pickup trucks.

Last month’s most popular model was the Mazda2 city car with sales of 1,616 units, followed by the Mazda BT-50 PRO (786 units), Mazda CX-30 (532), Mazda3 (433), Mazda CX-3 (269), Mazda CX-8 (159) and Mazda CX-5 (122).

Mazda sales for January-September totalled 26,072 units – 16,665 cars, 7,653 SUVs and 1,754 pickups.

The company is confident the sales momentum will continue in the fourth quarter and meet its annual target of 40,000-42,000 units.

Thailand’s auto industry expects total sales of about 750,000 units this year, down from just over 1 million (1,007,552) sold in 2019.

Mazda is preparing to launch new SUV and pickup models in Thailand before the end of the year.

EEC softening Covid impact with training for auto workers #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

EEC softening Covid impact with training for auto workers

Oct 06. 2020Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office, says the ‘EEC Job and Skill Expo’ will be held soon.Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the Eastern Economic Corridor Office, says the ‘EEC Job and Skill Expo’ will be held soon. 

By The Nation

The Eastern Economic Corridor Office is launching short training courses to boost auto-manufacturing workers’ skills and help them soften the financial impact of Covid-19.

Funded partly by government budget to stimulate the economy, the courses have so far benefited 9,500 workers, said Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office.

The office is collaborating with five vocational colleges spread across the EEC provinces of Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao provinces.

Prior to the virus crisis, the office estimated 475,000 workers would be needed for EEC industries from 2019 to 2023. This year, it aims to train 20,000 to 30,000 workers.

The government and private sector are each paying 50 per cent to fund the reskilling and upskilling courses. 

Congestion pricing, the route more cities are taking #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Congestion pricing, the route more cities are taking

Oct 05. 2020Vehicles sit in traffic during rush hour in the Times Square area of New York on April 2, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by John Taggart.
Vehicles sit in traffic during rush hour in the Times Square area of New York on April 2, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by John Taggart. 

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Jonathan Tirone · WORLD, TRANSPORTATION 
Traffic is a headache, and not just for drivers. Jammed roads have become an increasing economic, health and environmental menace to societies, contributing every year to millions of premature deaths and costing vast sums in lost productivity (an estimated $87 billion in the U.S. alone). To policy makers, that’s raised the allure of an option that not only can de-clog the streets and improve the air but also fill the coffers. Might congestion pricing become the norm for cities?

1. What is congestion pricing?

Charging drivers to enter busy areas. It’s already used in Singapore, London, Milan and Stockholm, with New York and Los Angeles set to join the movement. Paying to drive into city centers during rush hour or, in London’s case from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., is a turnoff for many commuters that pushes them to seek cheaper alternatives such as mass transit, car pooling or cycling. London charges 15 pounds ($19) a day. The upsides for cities can include quicker bus journeys, more space for pedestrians, fewer road accidents and less pollution.

2. Does it tackle the jams?

Congestion fell 30% and pollution dropped almost a quarter the year after London started charging to enter an area of 8 square miles (21 square kilometers). Stockholm’s system, launched four years after London’s in 2007, cut traffic to and from a 13-square-mile cordon by 20% and reduced traffic delays by as much as 50%. Congestion pricing appears to discourage some individuals from driving downtown but is less effective on businesses that can afford the charges. Congestion in London has returned to pre-charge levels, partly a result of commercial vehicles fulfilling online shopping orders and a rise in demand for ride-hailing services such as Uber, underlining the need to adapt pricing systems.

3. How does it work technically?

Automatic scanners read the license plates of cars, which themselves have been turned into mobile transponders carrying an array of radio-frequency chips. Vehicles are increasingly connected to satellite constellations tracking locations and collecting data about greenhouse gas emissions. Licensing and registration databases can be linked to individual payment accounts. Systems are being developed that let authorities fine-tune prices based on levels of congestion or air pollution.

4. Where does the money go?

Charges can be used to offset the anticipated loss of billions of dollars in fuel taxes as electric vehicles become more commonplace. London’s congestion charge is forecast to raise 154 million pounds ($200 million) in 2020. Charges in Singapore and Stockholm have brought in more than $100 million a year each. Pollution incurs all sorts of costs and any policy that reduces it is going to provide some economic benefits, from reduced sick days to better quality of life. Moreover, a reduction in car traffic facilitates moves among citizens from Barcelona to Seattle to make life friendlier for bicycles and pedestrians in the wake of Covid-19 lockdowns.

5. Who’s against it?

Motorist lobbies such as the American Automobile Association and some commuters argue that middle-income earners in outlying areas without access to public transport bear the brunt. Skeptics point out that London still has some of the world’s worst traffic and that location-tracking exposes consumers to privacy and data risks. Critics also note that it’s an inequitable solution, since the price is the same for everyone regardless of means. Some motorists object to congestion pricing or any road charges on the grounds that driving represents personal freedom.

6. Is there another approach?

There’s the Paris model, whereby restrictions keep out the most polluting vehicles, a bar that’s steadily raised. The French capital banned cars built to pre-1997 emissions standards in 2016, then three years later extended the ban to those from before 2006. Restrictions on cars built before 2009 will kick in from 2021. The two models are not exclusive (London has started banning heavy polluting vehicles) but they reflect different political cultures, one more tolerant of state-enforced bans and the other more open to control via fees.

7. Who profits from congestion pricing?

Companies that supply congestion pricing technologies include Austria’s Kapsch TrafficCom, Dutch TomTom, Germany’s Siemens and Norway’s Q-Free. The U.S. government’s Global Positioning System and the European Union’s Galileo navigation project run satellite-positioning constellations. HERE Global, a mapping company whose owners include Audi, BMW and Daimler, expects congestion pricing could become the new normal.

8. What’s the future of congestion pricing?

Systems analysts at the World Bank observed that humans have since Neolithic times tended to budget about an hour a day for travel. While technologies such as automobiles and airplanes have extended the speed and range of travel, people still like to cap their commutes. That’s key for proponents of congestion pricing who want to make it a part of so-called multimodal transport systems that blend rail, road and air travel into seamless networks. And with the U.S. Census Bureau calculating that workers in the world’s biggest economy are close to breaking the one-hour threshold, the demand for ways to ease congestion is unlikely to abate.

Ford sales top expectations as industrywide deliveries surge #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Ford sales top expectations as industrywide deliveries surge

Oct 03. 2020

By Syndication The Washington Post, Bloomberg · Keith Naughton

Ford’s third-quarter deliveries topped expectations on the strength of pickup-truck demand as the overall industry surged close to a booming 17 million annual sales pace in September.

The automaker’s sales fell 4.7% in the quarter, beating analysts’ estimates for a 6.7% decline on the strength of Ford’s best third quarter for pickup sales since 2005. Deliveries of F-Series trucks rose 3.5% and Ranger sales increased by 8.2%. Industry-wide auto sales hit a pace of 16.8 million in September when medium and heavy trucks are included, the company said.

“It was really gratifying to see the recovery from the second quarter for ourselves and the industry,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s U.S. sales chief, said in an interview. “We’re cautiously optimistic.”

Ford’s shares pared a decline of as much as 2.2% to trade down 0.4% to $6.72 as of 10:03 a.m. in New York.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker is predicting its first annual loss in a decade, partly because it is temporarily shutting two U.S. factories to retool for a redesigned version of the F-150 pickup, its most profitable product. LaNeve said Ford has a 60-days supply of its F-Series trucks, which is lower inventory than usual as demand remains high.

“In Q3, we were tighter than we normally are” on truck inventory “and we had such a great quarter,” LaNeve said. “We anticipate doing the same thing in Q4.”

The coronavirus pandemic and U.S. presidential election remain question marks hanging over the industry, but that hasn’t slowed the momentum of the recovery.

“The overall industry and the economy in general has recovered fairly sharply from the depths of Q2,” LaNeve said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty out there with the virus and many things, including how the election will affect the overall economy.”

Ford’s F-Series truck has been the top selling vehicle line in America for nearly four decades. But despite selling almost 900,000 units last year, Ford’s truck is playing catch-up with recent redesigns of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Ram and General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Silverado. The cash the F-Series hauls in is critical to new Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley’s turnaround plan.

Ford’s new CEO shakes up automaker’s senior management team #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Ford’s new CEO shakes up automaker’s senior management team

Oct 02. 2020Jim Farley, then president of Ford Motor Co. Europe, during a launch event ahead of the 87th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 6, 2017. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Luke MacGregor.
Jim Farley, then president of Ford Motor Co. Europe, during a launch event ahead of the 87th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 6, 2017. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Luke MacGregor. 

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Keith Naughton · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS 
 Ford’s new Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley wasted no time in his first day on the job by setting a tone of urgency and shaking up the automaker’s management team.

Farley, who took over as CEO Thursday from Jim Hackett, has said he is looking for fresh thinking to pull Ford out of a slump that it expects will lead to its first annual loss in a decade this year. He named John Lawler, a 30-year company veteran who has headed Ford’s autonomous-vehicles unit, as his new chief financial officer, the carmaker said in a statement.

Farley said in the statement that his predecessor had “opened the door” to making Ford a “vibrant, profitably growing company. Now it’s time to charge through that door.”

Lawler immediately replaces Tim Stone, who served in that role for a little over a year and has accepted the CFO position at software company ASAPP Inc., Ford said.

Farley laid out a plan to offer a full lineup of electric vehicles, add more “affordable” models, expand commercial-vehicle services to develop recurring revenue streams and create businesses utilizing the self-driving system of its autonomous affiliate Argo AI.

He said he will allocate capital, resources and talent to Ford’s strongest businesses and hottest models. And he aims to put the company on sounder financial footing by targeting an 8% operating margin.

“We’re going to compete like a challenger,” Farley said.

The new CEO also plans to name new chief information and marketing officers, following the retirement of current CIO Jeff Lemmer on Jan. 1 and removal of CMO Joy Falotico, who will now focus on her other role of heading Ford’s luxury Lincoln brand.

Initial reaction from Wall Street was positive, with Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy, who has a “neutral” rating on the stock, praising Lawler as a “well-regarded Ford veteran” and anticipating more disclosure from Farley on his turnaround plan.

“We believe Farley has challenges balancing near-term fixes with long-term secular” changes, Levy wrote in a research note, “yet brings a sense of urgency.”

Shares of Ford rose 0.7% to $6.70 as of 9:49 a.m. in New York. The stock is down about 30% this year.

The leadership changes are accompanied by some shifts in Ford’s managerial structure, including the creation of three regional business units to oversee operations in China, Europe, and the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Retail buyers buoy carmakers in third quarter #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

Retail buyers buoy carmakers in third quarter

Oct 02. 2020Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Jeep sports utility vehicles at a car dealership in Tinley Park, Ill., on Sept. 30, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Daniel Acker.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Jeep sports utility vehicles at a car dealership in Tinley Park, Ill., on Sept. 30, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Daniel Acker. 

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Gabrielle Coppola, David Welch · BUSINESS, RETAIL
Auto sales are recovering from the pandemic-induced slump earlier this year, with third-quarter deliveries beating expectations as consumers ditch shared rides for their own vehicles and seize on cheaper borrowing costs.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota all reported better-than-expected results for the quarter.

Surging demand from retail customers offset a sharp drop in fleet sales to troubled rental-car companies. Total new light-duty vehicle sales probably ran at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 15.7 million in September, down 1.6 million from a year ago, according to researcher J.D. Power.

“While the economy has made a substantial rebound in the third quarter, retail auto sales have been even more resilient,” GM Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg said in a statement. “Super low auto-loan interest rates have boosted retail auto sales.”

Sales have rebounded after touching a multi-decade low of 8.7 million vehicles in April, when factories were idled and buyers across the country were quarantined at home. But deliveries are still lower than a year ago as recession-wary buyers trickle back into showrooms. Forecasters estimate sales are still down 20% year to date, a gap car manufacturers are unlikely to close.

Most automakers stopped reporting monthly deliveries last year, so the third-quarter results are the first peek at sales trends since early July. Ford Motor Co. and Tesla Inc. aren’t expected to release their quarterly numbers until Friday.

Here are highlights from the automakers that are reporting results for last month:

– GM: Retail buyers couldn’t get enough of GM’s SUVs and pickups, allowing the automaker to post a better-than-expected 9.9% decline in quarterly sales to 665,192 vehicles. The company said it faces tight inventories for trucks such as its Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra and is running all pickup plants on three shifts to make up for coronavirus-related shutdowns in the spring.

GM’s weakest division was Cadillac, which saw sales shrink 17.5% in the quarter. The brand was hurt by a changeover to a new Escalade SUV. A plant in Arlington, Texas, is ramping up production to meet expected demand for the latest model.

– Fiat Chrysler: Fiat Chrysler sales fell 10% in the quarter — above analysts’ forecast for an 11.4% drop — to 507,351 vehicles. The company cited robust retail demand, which compensated for lower fleet sales to commercial and rental customers.

Sales of the profitable Jeep brand fell 9%, with deliveries of every model lower except the Gladiator pickup — due in part to inventory shortages.

“Jeep and Ram are hot and we continue to prioritize deliveries to our dealers, who are asking us to ship as many vehicles as we can build,” Jeff Kommor, Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales chief, said in a statement.

The only brand that ticked higher in the quarter was Chrysler, thanks to strong sales of the Pacifica minivan. The people-mover’s deliveries soared 32% in the quarter to 28,696 units.

– Toyota: Hybrids continue to provide a boost to Toyota, with September sales of its electric-gas vehicles up 35% and accounting for almost one-fifth of the company’s total. For the quarter, deliveries fell 11% to a better-than-expected 558,449 vehicles.

The Japanese automaker said overall sales in September rose 16% to 197,124 vehicles and that its was the first month the Toyota brand exceeded a sales plan that pre-dated the Covid-19 outbreak. Lexus sales surged 31% to 24,754 cars and SUVs.

– Hyundai: Retail sales rose every month in the third quarter for Hyundai Motor Co., even as total deliveries fell 1% for the three-month period to 170,828 vehicles. Fleet sales plunged 67% in September.

But that drop was largely offset by demand for popular SUVs like the South Korean automaker’s newish mid-size Palisade, which more than doubled to 7,741 units.

BMW exec: China to become production base for exports #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

BMW exec: China to become production base for exports

Oct 01. 2020BMW Group China President and CEO Jochen Goller explains the carmaker's strategy at the Beijing auto show. [Photo provided to]BMW Group China President and CEO Jochen Goller explains the carmaker’s strategy at the Beijing auto show. [Photo provided to] 

By China Daily/ANN

China is expected to have a closer relationship with the global market, as carmakers are making the country a production base for exports, said a senior BMW executive.

“If you look today, it is normal to have an auto plant in South Africa, India or Mexico for exports. It is not normal to have a plant in China for exports,” said BMW Group China President and CEO Jochen Goller on the opening day of the Beijing auto show on Saturday.

Goller said the situation will change, as carmakers including BMW are making China a production base for overseas markets.

The carmaker’s electric iX3 SUV has its plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province, as the sole production site globally.

As the model rolls off the assembly line, the first shipment will hit the overseas market in March, Goller said.

He said BMW is also partnering with China’s Great Wall Motors to produce electric Mini-branded vehicles in Jiangsu province for global markets as well.

“I don’t believe in decoupling. The world will become even closer,” he said.

Suppliers have chosen China as a global production base faster than carmakers. BMW has around 400 suppliers in China, which are producing auto parts for its plants in Shenyang and also other parts of the world.

China is BMW’s largest market worldwide. In the first half of the year, it sold 329,609 vehicles in the country, with the sales in the second quarter rising 17 percent year-on-year.

Goller expects the rise to grow even higher in the third quarter. In the past two years, BMW launched 40 models in the country, and 17 will be launched this year, Goller said.