The 18th Wuhan Motor Show was underway in central China’s Hubei province. Top industry players and experts shared insights on the latest developments in the auto industry, including a government mandate to move away from fossil fuels.
Chinese authorities have told domestic automakers that if they want to continue manufacturing fossil fuel-powered cars, they have to dedicate 10 percent or more of their total production to electric vehicles starting in 2019. Car makers in China will also be required to obtain a minimum new-energy vehicle credit score, which some say will help in the immediate future, as fossil fuel phase out will be an extended process.
“We have to promote the development of renewable energy cars,” Chai Zhanxiang, assistant chairman of the Global Automotive Forum, said. “Under such circumstances, the credit-score system is a good policy.”
At the 2017 Wuhan Motor Show, experts and industry players were optimistic about the development of artificial intelligence and renewable energy cars. They said China is playing a leading role in these areas.
“For AI technology, you can see that from all over the world, only two countries have the top level research results. One is China, the other is the U.S.,” according to Rong Hui, vice president of the BAIC Group New Technology Institute. “42 percent of the top articles related to AI technology are written by Chinese people. And not only traditional car makers, a lot of internet companies, such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, have put a lot of resources on the AI technology.”
Although China has made great advances technically, the country’s industry leaders need to do much more if they want to make a dent in overseas markets.
“China will be one of the top countries together with the U.S. in car technology, but we need to look at the ecosystem building,” Stanley Ng, CEO of MapKing International Limited, said. “That will be a challenge for Chinese car manufacturers to sell overseas. When you go overseas, you need to look for the local adoption; you need to look for local partners.”
The CEO said making friends with local counterparts is important, whether they are in IT, electricity providers, and even governments. Making sure every component works together is necessary to ensure smooth operation for consumers.