Volkswagen joins China price war ahead of looming new emission standard

Volkswagen joins China price war ahead of looming new emission standard

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a SAIC Volkswagen showroom in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China January 10, 2021. Picture taken January 10, 2021. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

BEIJING, March 17 (Reuters) – SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Co is offering 3.7 billion yuan ($537 million) in cash subsidies for buying cars in China, joining more than 40 brands in cutting prices before a change in emission standards for the world’s largest automobile market.

The joint venture between China’s SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and Germany’s Volkswagen AG is offering 15,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan in subsidies through April 30 for its entire lineup, which includes Teramont, Lavida and Phideon models, said SAIC-VW in your WeChat account on Thursday evening. .

Guangzhou Automobile Group, the Chinese partner of Honda Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp, also offered grants from March 15 to 31.

Sales of Chinese passenger cars fell 20% in January-February, according to industry data, despite some automakers offering cut prices to stimulate demand.

Sales of new energy vehicles, which include battery-powered vehicles and gasoline-battery plug-in hybrids, grew faster than the overall market, up more than 30% in February. In the same month, Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd sold more Volkswagen-branded cars for the second consecutive month.

Government plans for a tougher car emissions standard from July 1 have increased pressure on automakers and dealers to clean up stocks of non-compliant vehicles, Fitch Ratings analysts said Thursday in a note to the customer.

(1 dollar = 6.8923 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing; Editing in Spanish by José Muñoz)

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