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20 April 2017, 06:13 | Jodi Jackson
At the Shanghai show, the industry's biggest marketing event this year, nearly every global and Chinese brand plans to display at least an electric concept auto, if not a model ready for sale, alongside its latest SUVs and sedans.
China's automotive market remains the most important in the world for manufacturers, with sales jumping 14.9 percent to 24.38 million passenger cars a year ago, well beyond the 17.55 million bought by United States drivers.
With China's fast-expanding middle class adopting modern, mobile lifestyles, passenger-car sales have almost quintupled over the past decade.
The new model will be built in China and exported worldwide. Analysts warn full-year volume could be flat and possibly contract in 2018 for the first time in memory.
The announcement at the Shanghai auto show is among a flurry of automakers' plans for electric models in China, their industry's biggest market.
But they acknowledge they will have to innovate to keep on track as consumer tastes evolve in an ever-changing market. "We believe that electrification is the answer to sustainable mobility".
Vehicles are seen covered at the Great Wall Motors WEY booth, at the Shanghai Auto Show, during its media day, in Shanghai, China April 19, 2017.
It is the first adjustment to the famed Morris Garages (MG) badge for over 90 years.
For years, carmakers have struggled to gain economies of scale to bring down the cost of electric cars, which have failed to gain traction with consumers in part due to their price.
China's drive for electric vehicles, driven in part to combat often suffocating urban smog, has put pressure on Japan's Toyota Motor Corp to re-think its earlier scepticism about battery-electric technology. Buick also sells a hybrid LaCrosse in China. Honda Motor Co. will show its new NeuV, a futuristic concept vehicle the company has suggested might get an electric drivetrain. Movie star Jackie Chan in white attends the global launch of the Buick Velite 5, an extended range electric hybrid ahead of the Shanghai Auto 2017 show in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Volvo's first all-electric vehicle will go on sale in 2019 and is likely to take the shape of a small SUV.
"It's developing even quicker than we estimated", he said of SUV sales.
According to management consulting firm McKinsey, 43 percent of the 870,000 electric cars produced in 2016 came from China.
Through a Chinese joint venture company, SDS, GKN will start making an electric transmission for a domestic Chinese automaker in 2018 and then deliver an electric motor, inverter, axle and gearbox for a European firm's small vehicle platform a year later.
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