The European Union has Chinese electric cars in its sights. And more particularly the massive public subsidies from their country from which they benefit. A situation which could create unfair competition, compared to European manufacturers.
This is why the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced this Wednesday, September 13, a reaction from the EU. An investigation into this subject is open. Ms von der Leyen spoke about this decision in a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg:
“Global markets are now flooded with cheap Chinese electric cars, the price of which is kept artificially low by massive government subsidies.” “Europe is open to competition, not to a race to the bottom.”
A decision particularly applauded by France and Germany
This speech received many applause. The representatives of France and Germany particularly welcomed this decision on the part of the European Union. As evidenced by Bruno le Maire, Minister of Economy and Finance. The latter believes that‘Europe must be able to fight back’ if the subsidies “do not comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules”. He thus evoked a “very good decision”in order to tend towards “fair cooperation between China and Europe”.
On the German side, even though the country tends to be tender with China, Robert Habeck, counterpart of Bruno le Maire, welcomed a “good attitude”. It is simply “to see if there are hidden subsidies, direct or indirect, which represent an unfair competitive advantage”.
European manufacturers finally feel heard
For their part, manufacturers, via the European Manufacturers Association (ACEA), say they are satisfied to finally be heard. While they have long denounced the unbalanced competition between the European Union and China.
A point which will certainly not fail to be underlined by Carlos Tavares, in particular. The leader of the Stellantis group has often pointed to Chinese competition as a real problem. We’ll see how this business evolves, as Chinese models are more popular than ever, thanks to their aggressively low prices.
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To sum up
The European Union is launching an investigation into the subsidies that Chinese cars receive by their country. This could represent unfair competition. France, Germany and European manufacturers welcome this decision.
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