Europe is keeping a close eye on the Chinese car industry, as European car manufacturers in particular fear unfair competition from subsidized electric cars. With comparatively low prices, electric cars from China could “distort the European car market,” as EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen put it almost two weeks ago when the EU opened an investigation into possible government support for electric cars from China.
Tesla, BMW and Renault also supported?
However, subsidies for electric cars could also have flowed to non-Chinese manufacturers with production in China. The investigations are now to be expanded to include Tesla, BMW and Renault, reports the Bloomberg news agency, citing people familiar with the matter.
European producers as collateral hits
The expansion to non-Chinese manufacturers with two European producers as collateral hits is a curious byproduct of the investigation. What the EU fears is largely still a future scenario with cheaply produced and exported vehicles in China, especially the big brands BYD, Nio and Xpeng.
Foreign manufacturers are currently losing market share in China with the electric cars they produce there. Tesla is currently the largest foreign producer of electric cars in China, followed by Volkswagen.
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