How the Chinese electric revolution will change the Spanish car market

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish car market

MADRID – With various measures, Europe has made it clear that the future of the Spanish car market will be electric. Below is the ban on the sale of combustion engines from 2035. 

Following this, Spain has set ambitious goals to accelerate this electrification: by 2030, 5 million electric cars must be on Spanish roads and 300,000 charging points must be installed. However, these goals are still far from being achieved. 

Although the road to full electrification is still long, consumers are increasingly inclined to switch to electric cars. Brands such as Tesla and MG are popular. But it is mainly the Chinese electric car brands that are entering the European market and seem to be making great strides. 

Today’s Chinese cars cannot be compared to the inferior models of the early 2000s. Thanks to collaborations with European companies, these cars now pass the strict Euro NCAP safety tests. Another strong point is the price. China, which suffers from severe pollution and overpopulation, was one of the first countries to undertake large-scale research and production of electric cars. Consequently, this has resulted in an advantage over Europe, especially in battery production. 

Relatively low price for Chinese electric cars 

This lead has led to lower prices for Chinese electric cars compared to traditional brands. “China is competitive in electrification technology because it has been producing electric vehicles for many years,” Anfac told Business Insider España. 

Spanish consumers are more likely to buy Asian cars 

But why did China specifically choose Spain as a springboard to Europe? Fernando Carranza, professor of marketing at ESIC, explains that Spain is one of the five major European markets with favourable sales conditions for Chinese manufacturers. In addition, Spanish consumers are more inclined to buy Asian cars than consumers in other European countries. 

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The quality of Chinese cars has improved significantly, so the technical difference between European and Chinese cars is minimal. Audi has even announced that it will buy platforms from Chinese manufacturers. 

The arrival of these affordable Chinese cars will undoubtedly affect European brands. “The impact will be huge because an internal combustion engine is much more complex to produce and maintain than an electric car,” says Laia Pagès of CARNET. 

Experts predict that many European manufacturers will eventually move to China because of the cheap labour. “European manufacturers will have no choice but to buy or produce there,” says Carranza. 

In response to that threat, European manufacturers are calling on Europe to take measures to protect them and enable them to work under equal conditions. Anfac emphasises that Europe should encourage and support its industry, just as the US and China do for their own industries. 

Europe’s involvement will determine the future sales of these Asian brands. “It is crucial that we in Europe find ways to balance the rise of Chinese brands,” the article concludes. 

Related: All about electric car driving in Spain 

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