Car dilemma: Bei­jing wants elec­tric, buy­ers want SUVs

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

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.

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