Car dilemma: Beijing wants electric, buyers want SUVs
BEIJING | Automakers face a dilemma in China’s huge but crowded market: Regulators are pushing them to sell electric cars, but buyers want gas-guzzling SUVs.
The industry is rattled by Beijing’s proposal to require that electric cars make up 8 percent of every brand’s production as soon as next year. Consumers are steering the other way: First-quarter SUV sales soared 21 percent from a year earlier to 2.4 million, while electric vehicle purchases sank 4.4 percent to just 55,929.
The pressure for electrification in China is an added headache for automakers at a time when sales growth is slowing and competition heating up in a market they are counting on to drive global revenue.