Europa’s in recession: the Chinese have left. No electric BYD e6

LamborghiniThere were plenty of crazy cars at the Geneva motor show which ended last week-end. The craziest was assuredly that Lamborghini roadster, a 200-mph car without a windshield, but there were something more troubling. It wasn’t apparent at first, but there wasn’t any Chinese around. Well, they’ve never been many Chinese in Switzerland, but there used to be a few of them. Brilliance, BYD, those brands had bought a stand at the Swiss motor show in the past, but they weren’t there in 2012.

The European auto industry used to fear the imminent competition from dirt-cheap Chinese cars, but that fear hasn’t materialized yet. Geely has a plan though. It will start selling in the UK at the end of this year, but the manufacturer’s absence from Europe’s most international show how much it cares about the European market. The absence of BYD was especially disappointing, because it was expected to bring the European production version of its electric e6 minivan. Maybe next year…

Now, if someone wants to understand what’s happening, it’s not difficult to see what’s going on. Europe is a very tough market right now, with several leading brands struggling (Opel, Peugeot…), where cars only sell with big rebates. The only manufacturers performing well are the luxury brands, most notably the German trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. There couldn’t be a sharper contrast with the booming Chinese market, where most manufacturers enjoy double-digit growth, without customers asking for discounts. For a newcomer, there’s no hesitation about the right place to be to make money…

One thought on “Europa’s in recession: the Chinese have left. No electric BYD e6

  1. Vince

    The BYD e6 has disappeared from America too. Don’t know if we’ll hear about it again, but it seems unlikely.