NEV Sales: Their Chinese Geography

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Bordeaux (2024)


GERPISA 2024 Proposal
Michael Smitka
Professor Emeritus of Economics, Washington and Lee University

This project will analyze sales by city for the top-selling NEVs (New Energy Vehicles) in China, and for a small selection of other vehicles from smaller producers that may be tied to the region in which they are located. This is important because the Chinese auto industry developed from local roots. For example, Shanghai was the domain of Shanghai Auto Industry Corp, which could sell cars to the local market as taxis and government vehicles, but could not tap similar markets in Guangzhou (where GAC held sway) or Beijing (BAIC). To what extent are firms now national in their sales base? In addition, for most firms initial sales were concentrated in the biggest cities. To what extent have different firms been able to expand into smaller cities?

Two implications stand out. First, as the biggest cities become saturated with NEVs, do the data indicate that the expansion of EV sales will now slow? Or are smaller cities picking up the slack? Second, have any of the EV startups been able to gain a wide geographic base? Without the ability to tap wider markets, startups will find it hard to attain volumes sufficient to support profitability.

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