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Former U.S. ambassador to help Ford explore Chinese market

By Xinhuanet| 2020-10-19 00:00:00

Jon Huntsman Jr., U.S. ambassador to China during President Barack Obama's tenure, will return to Ford Motor Co.'s board of directors as the U.S. automaker looks to tap into his trade expertise and global experience, especially in China, the Detroit News reported.Ford China reported a 25.4-percent sales increase year-on-year in the third quarter of this year, the largest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2016. In all, Ford and its joint ventures, Changan Ford, JMC and Ford Lio-Ho, sold 164,352 vehicles in Greater China."Jon Huntsman is exactly the right guy at the right time for Ford," the local newspaper quoted Michael Dunne, CEO of Hong Kong-based advisory firm ZoZo Go LLC, as saying. "As Ford constructs a comeback in China, Huntsman can play a pivotal role, especially on the crucial company-to-government relations front."Huntsman's election to Ford's board brings the total number of directors up to 14. He'll serve on the board's nominating and governance, compensation, and sustainability and innovation committees. Enditem

GM's China sales grow 12 pct in Q3

By Xinhuanet| 2020-10-14 00:00:00

U.S. General Motors Co. (GM) sales in China increased 12 percent in the third quarter this year thanks to China's continuing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, GM China said in a news release on Monday.It is also the first time for GM to report sales growth quarterly in two years, according to media reports.Overall, the Detroit-based automaker sold more than 771,400 vehicles in the third quarter in China, the company said.To be specific, Buick sales grew 26 percent from a year earlier to over 250,000 units; Cadillac sales topped 65,000 units, an increase of 28 percent compared to last year; Wuling sales increased 26 percent from a year earlier to more than 270,000 units, according to the company.GM has launched more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, with more than 40 percent of GM's new launches over the next five years in China to be new energy vehicles "in line with GM's global move to create a zero-emissions future," it said. Enditem

China's largest SUV maker sees strong sales growth

By Xinhuanet| 2020-10-12 14:24:37

Great Wall Motors (GWM), China's largest sport utility vehicle (SUV) and pickup manufacturer, saw vehicle sales rise 32 percent month on month to 117,812 units in September.From January to September, GWM sold 680,690 vehicles.Haval, GWM's leading SUV brand, drove the overall sales growth of the company with 79,120 units sold in September, breaking the monthly sales record in 2020. Haval H6 model sold 40,475 units last month, making it the best-selling SUV in China for 88 months, the company said.Great Wall pickups further strengthened their dominant position in the market in September with the sale of 22,885 vehicles, a year-on-year growth of 67 percent. Great Wall pickups have been the first in domestic and export market for 22 consecutive years, with total sales of 1.8 million vehicles worldwide.Among new energy vehicles, ORA brand in September sold 6,619 units, a strong year-on-year growth of 253 percent.The Wey brand sold 9,037 vehicles in the same period, up 20 percent month on month, maintaining a good growth momentum.With an accelerating globalization strategy, GWM sold 7,773 vehicles overseas in September, up 46 percent year on year, a new high in 2020.Headquartered in the city of Baoding, north China's Hebei Province, GWM owns several SUV and car brands including Haval, Great Wall, WEY and ORA. Enditem

China launches new free trade zones for greater opening-up, high-quality development

By Xinhuanet| 2020-09-25 18:21:33

China on Thursday officially opened three new pilot free trade zones (FTZs) and expanded one as it seeks greater opening-up and high-quality development.The three new FTZs are in Beijing and the provinces of Anhui and Hunan, increasing the total number of the country's FTZs to 21, while the expanded one is in the coastal province of Zhejiang.The launch came after the State Council on Monday issued a master plan to outline the priorities for the three new pilot FTZs, and adopted a plan to double the area of the pilot FTZ in Zhejiang.China's decision to set up a new batch of pilot FTZs demonstrated the country's firm determination to accelerate the formation of a new development pattern through a higher level of opening-up, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a press briefing on Monday.Experts believe that the new FTZs will further improve trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in China through a new round of system and mechanism reform and innovation. It will also grasp the strategic opportunities brought about by the scientific and technological revolution, and promote the transformation and upgrading of China's foreign trade and the development of strategic emerging industries.Zhou Mi, with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, said the new zones are a supplement to the layout of the existing 18 pilot FTZs. "From the coastal areas to the central inland regions, it shows that China hopes to promote diversified and higher-level opening-up," said Zhou.Experts said the expansion of the FTZ is an effort to boost the development momentum of the entire central region and further expand the entire Chinese market, and therefore, foreign-funded enterprises will focus more on the Chinese market in the future.Zhou believes that the three new FTZs will attach greater importance to the overall investment environment, seeking to meet more and higher demands of foreign investors to realize coordinated development with local companies and industries."The new step provides foreign-funded enterprises with good expectations for China's continuous opening-up," Zhou said. "It also provides system innovation and more experimental attempts which can effectively cut investment costs and loosen investment restrictions."Xu Xiangping, head of Hunan's commerce department, said the 21 FTZs cover the eastern, central and western regions, and each one has its strategic positioning and development goals.The Beijing pilot FTZ will focus on supporting the construction of an innovation center with global influence. It will accelerate the construction of a leading area for the expansion of trade in services and a pilot area for the digital economy.The new pilot FTZ in Hunan will focus on building a world-class advanced manufacturing cluster and an international investment and trade corridor linking the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It will also be a leading area for in-depth economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa.Expected to set the standard for opening-up in the inland region, the pilot FTZ in Anhui will focus on promoting the in-depth integration of scientific and technological innovation and the development of the real economy. It will accelerate the pace of its pioneering role in scientific and technological innovation and the cluster development of advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries, and promote the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.The expanded area in Zhejiang will focus on building a new type of international trade center and a global shipping and logistics hub, as well as the construction of a commodity resource allocation base centered on oil and gas. It will also see the construction of a digital economy development demonstration zone and a cluster area for advanced manufacturing industries.FTZs are the new high ground for China's reform and opening-up and an important platform to absorb foreign capital. Seven years into China's pilot FTZ mechanism, a total of 260 institutional innovations have been formulated and replicated nationwide with remarkable results.In the first seven months of 2020, more than 3,300 new foreign-funded enterprises were established in the already existing 18 pilot FTZs. These FTZs also reported an actual use of foreign investment of over 90 billion yuan (13.3 billion U.S. dollars) and contributed 2.7 trillion yuan of foreign trade, accounting for 16.8 percent and 13.5 percent of the country's total, respectively. Enditem

Ford to cut 1,000 salaried jobs in U.S.

By Xinhuanet| 2020-09-03 00:00:00

Ford Motor Co. is planning to eliminate 1,000 white-collar jobs in the United States by the end of the year, another step in its years-long 11-billion-dollar restructuring effort, the Detroit News reported.The reductions are not a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted production for eight weeks in the spring. Instead, it is the latest step in a sweeping reorganization intended to reverse Ford's lagging financial performance and achieve what CEO Jim Hackett calls financial "fitness," the local newspaper reported.This will add to the 2,300 previously announced salaried job reduction in the United States.In 2019, Ford closed plants and eliminated thousands of jobs in Europe, where it has been losing money, and struggled to right-size its operations in China.Ford cut 7,000 salaried positions worldwide last year in the first round of the global overhaul. Those reductions were expected to save the company 600 million dollars a year. The carmaker had a worldwide workforce of 190,000 people at the end of 2019.Ford's latest retrenchment comes as Hackett prepares to retire and Jim Farley will take the place of CEO on Oct. 1, the Detroit News reported. Enditem

Volkswagen starts series production of its first fully electric SUV in Germany

By Xinhuanet| 2020-08-25 00:00:00

Volkswagen started series production of the brand's first all-electric SUV, the ID.4, in the plant in the eastern German city of Zwickau, the German carmaker announced."Following the ID.3, this is already the second model based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB)," said Ralf Brandstaetter, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Volkswagen brand. MEB is a modular car platform designed purely for electric vehicles from Volkswagen.The plant in Zwickau would play a "key role in the system changeover to e-mobility" and Volkswagen was converting the plant to electro-mobility with investments of around 1.2 billion euros (1.4 billion U.S. dollars).Conversions in the Zwickau plant are scheduled to be completed this year, according to Volkswagen. In 2021, the "first full production year as an EV factory," around 300,000 electric vehicles would be produced based on MEB.The ID.4 would be "built and sold" in the future in Europe, in China and later also in the United States, added Brandstaetter. The world premiere of the ID.4 is scheduled at the end of September, according to Volkswagen."Preparations to roll out the electric SUV at international level are also in full swing," the carmaker noted. Pre-production of the ID.4 had already started at the Anting plant in Shanghai in East China, while the Chattanooga site in the United States is scheduled to start production in 2022.To become the world market leader in electromobility, the Volkswagen Group would invest around 33 billion euros until 2024, 11 billion euros of which would be invested in the Volkswagen brand alone, according to the car manufacturer. For 2025, the Volkswagen brand expects to produce 1.5 million electric cars. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars) Enditem

Vietnam's automobile import down 32.6 pct in 7 months

By Xinhuanet| 2020-08-06 10:32:19

Vietnam spent over 2.9 billion U.S. dollars on importing completely-built automobiles and components for assembly in the first seven months of this year, posting a year-on-year decrease of 32.6 percent.Specifically, the country imported nearly 44,300 completely-built automobiles worth over 1 billion U.S. dollars, down 48.3 percent in volume and 47.6 percent in value, according to the country's Ministry of Industry and Trade on Wednesday.In 2019, Vietnam spent over 7.4 billion U.S. dollars importing completely-built automobiles and components for assembly. Specifically, the country imported roughly 141,700 completely-built automobiles worth more than 3.2 billion U.S. dollars. Enditem

China's Jiangsu Province top foreign investment destination

By Xinhuanet| 2020-07-27 00:00:00

Jiangsu Province received the most foreign investment among all provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland in the first half of 2020, local authorities said.The coastal province reported an actual use of foreign investment of 16.67 billion U.S. dollars, up 9.3 percent year on year, according to the provincial department of commerce.Jiangsu has been improving the local business environment and stepping up efforts to spur investment in a bid to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic since the beginning of this year.The province saw a total of 1,430 new foreign-invested projects from January to June.The actual use of foreign investment in the service sector grew by 32.3 percent to 8.85 billion U.S. dollars.China pledged in early July to keep foreign trade and foreign investment stable. It urged efforts to maintain the stability and integrity of industrial and supply chains, and boost the role of foreign-invested enterprises in the industrial chain while promoting greater opening up. Enditem

Shanghai's foreign trade picks up in Q2

By Xinhuanet| 2020-07-23 10:30:48

Shanghai's foreign trade picked up in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, rising 2.4 percent year on year, amid the city's business resuming and strict epidemic control measures in place, Shanghai customs said Wednesday.The city's import and export trade volume was 824.84 billion yuan (about 118 billion U.S. dollars) in Q2, accounting for 52.2 percent of the total volume in the first half of the year.The export of mechanical and electrical products accounted for 67.6 percent of the city's total export volume in the first half of the year. The export of textile products and fabrics rose 61.6 percent on growing demand for epidemic prevention and control materials including masks.Shanghai's import of high-tech products grew 12.3 percent year on year to reach 312 billion yuan during the January-June period. Enditem

Foreign trade of China's Henan up 7.7 pct in H1

By Xinhuanet| 2020-07-17 10:27:20

Foreign trade of central China's Henan Province rose 7.7 percent to reach 228.04 billion yuan (about 32.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, local authorities said.From January to June, the province's exports reached 146.6 billion yuan, up 1.3 percent year on year, and imports totaled 81.44 billion yuan, an increase of 21.6 percent, according to Zhengzhou customs.Despite the impact of COVID-19, the import and export of Henan's processing trade reached 129.86 billion yuan in the first half of this year, maintaining a double-digit growth.During the period, Henan's trade volume with the European Union reached 35.03 billion yuan, surging 86.4 percent, and its trade volume with ASEAN countries hit 32.72 billion yuan, up 21.8 percent. Enditem

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