Brian Gu, the company’s president, emphasizes that the Germans have shown an unprecedented level of determination.
In a moment when the European automotive industry is striving to ramp up production of zero-emission vehicles, Chinese manufacturers are expanding their operations and exerting pressure on the continent through partnerships and investments.
According to the automotive consultancy Inovev, in 2023, 8% of electric vehicles sold in Europe were produced by Chinese brands, up from 6% in 2022 and 4% in 2021.
This places China at the top of the sales ranking, followed by the United States in second place and Germany in third.
Some firms like Xpeng, BYD, and Leapmotor are challenging European companies with more affordable models in order to increase their growth in foreign markets.
Gu states, “Chinese companies are flooding foreign markets like mushrooms, deepening their sense of crisis”.
On the contrary, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz argues that competition in electric vehicles should be a stimulus rather than a concern for German manufacturers.
Gu, on the other hand, details that Xpeng plans to expand into more European markets, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and France in 2024.
They have already signed an agreement with Volkswagen to jointly produce two new models in China.
In a context where there are many stereotypes about Chinese manufacturing, Xpeng insists that there are many ways in which German and Chinese companies can complement each other with their different strengths.
This year, the number of Chinese companies at the IAA has doubled.
“I feel a bit anxious after seeing so many new technologies at the IAA over the past two days”, remarks You Zheng, vice-general manager of China’s Dongfeng Motor.
And adds, “Europe is not standing still in the transition to electric vehicles. We need to redouble our efforts to improve our capabilities in fundamental technologies”.
Moreover, the World New Energy Vehicle Congress of China is being held within the IAA, with the participation of high-ranking officials like Wan Gang, the “Father of Electric Vehicles” in China.
“We need to seek cooperation from a humble position”, says Jia Jianxu, General Manager of the joint venture between SAIC and Volkswagen, at an event organized by the Xuanyuan Academy in Munich.
In this regard, Chinese executives express their admiration for what European car manufacturers have to offer.