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Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

Carmen Lee From Gasgoo.com| January 31 , 2012

Gasgoo.com (Shanghai) - With another year off the calendars and in the run up to Chinese New Year, let's take a look back at some of key stories that shook the automotive industry in 2011:

No. 1: Although Chinese market finally cools down, foreign manufacturers manage to stay profitable

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

The Chinese market has finally seen an end to years of rapid sales growth in 2011, with the final annual growth rate finishing under five percent. That said, foreign manufacturers are still performing strongly, with Volkswagen, General Motors and Nissan all managing to maintain growth rates of just under 20 percent. Chinese manufacturers are left to bear the brunt of the slow market, with Chery, BYD and Geely all witnessing little to no growth last year.

Chinese automobile market may not reach 10% growth in 2011

Pressure on Chinese manufacturer inventories increasing

Luxury automobile sales in China beginning to plummet

Despite slow market, Shanghai VW continues to succeed

Summary: 2011 sales target completion rates for major manufacturers

Summary: Growth of imports in Chinese automobile market

No. 2: Japanese earthquake's drastic effect on the automobile industry in China and worldwide

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

This March's Tohoku earthquake in Japan has had a major effect on automobile and auto parts industries both domestically and internationally. Toyota and Honda saw their Chinese sales stolen by Western manufacturers such as GM and VW, but Nissan continued to perform strongly.

Japan's recent earthquake has varying effects on Sino-Japanese JVs

Chinese JVs worry as Japanese automakers continue to delay production

Japan auto parts makers may move plants to China, official says

Sino-Japanese JVs still on the long road to recovery

No. 3: Case of spontaneously combusting Zotye EV

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

Electric vehicles have been one of the highlight of the year, although not all the attention has been positive. Cases of the Chevrolet Volt's battery catching on fire have caused an international media stir. Meanwhile, April's spontaneously combusting Zotye EV taxi shook the Chinese headlines in the first half of 2011.

Zotye electric taxi spontaneously explodes in Hangzhou

Zotye still "investigating" last week's Hangzhou EV taxi accident

Cause behind Hangzhou's exploding Zotye EV taxi solved

No. 4: Introduction of new registration plate lotteries in Beijing and Guiyang

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

Alarmingly rising rates of traffic consumption have been a major topic of discussion in China's large cities. Even second- and third-tier cities have started to feel the effects of the problem. The introduction of registration plate lottery systems in Beijing and Guizhou's capital of Guiyang is a controversial solution to the problem.

Beijing to broadcast live first ever car license lottery

Over 300000 applicants for Beijing's second license plate lottery

Survey: Views on the Guiyang registration plate lottery

EVs in Beijing to be exempt from license plate lottery

No. 5: Chinese manufacturers fail to save Saab from bankruptcy

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

With the European credit crisis becoming more and more severe, European enterprises have started to fall on times. The story of Swedish manufacturer Saab has been a classic example. Chinese manufacturers, most notably Pangda and Youngman, have been scrambling to come to Saab's aid, but all were rebuffed by former parent General Motors.

Saab already restarted production, Pangda says

Pangda's proposal to buy Saab rejected by GM

Youngman preparing to send materials regarding Saab to NDRC

Youngman will not try to invest in Saab again

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No. 6: Chinese manufacturers seeing presence increase in South America

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

The Chinese automobile industry is looking to expand into foreign market, with South America being a choice target. Chery, JAC and Great Wall have all made impressive strides in the continent over the year, with new production sites planned in Brazil. Several European media reports have hinted at the impending importance of Chinese manufacturers in the future, and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne was quoted as saying that China possessed a considerable competitive advantage in the field.

Argentine trade restrictions put a damper on Chery's sales

China's JAC Motors becomes Brazil's second most imported car brand

Chery to still build factory in Brazil

JAC to establish new JV in Brazil

No. 7: Media exposé and ensuing controversy regarding Kumho Tire

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

Korean company Kumho Tire has had a lot of problems with its tires in China last year, starting with an investigatory report appearing on CCTV in March. Kumho originally denied the accusations, but several investigations later forced the manufacturer to begin making product recalls.

Kumho denies CCTV claims that its tires are unsafe

Harbin tells dealers to halt sales of Kumho tires

Kumho to recall over 30000 tires

Kumho Tire sightings rare at Auto Shanghai 2011

No. 8: Fatal accident brings attention to China's lack of standards for school buses

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

The lack of national standards for school buses has been an ongoing topic of concern in China. The November case of a school bus crashing in Gansu, killing 19 children and two adults, brought international attention to the issue.

China to standardize primary school buses for safety

Official bodies meeting to decide on national school bus standards in wake of Gansu tragedy

Time to act on school bus safety, watchdog says

No. 9: Several policy changes made regarding new energy vehicles

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

The Chinese government has been praised for its support of new energy vehicles in the country. Whether or not revised official policies will help stimulate growth in the still young market remains to be seen.

Subsidies for energy efficient vehicles may be phased out

Chinese new energy automobile industry developing too slowly

Analysis: Who will the new EV policies benefit most?

Subsidies for energy-saving automobiles may affect 80% of vehicles on market

No. 10: Controversy regarding old repair and return policies for automobiles

Summary: Retrospective on Chinese automotive industry in 2011

Changes to the outdated repair and return policies for Chinese vehicles disappointed many consumers.

Chinese automobile industry not ready for new repair and return policies

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