China's Great Wall is first EV maker to respond to EU anti-subsidy probe

China's Great Wall is first EV maker to respond to EU anti-subsidy probe

Automotive News Europe — 2023-10-24

Automotive Industry

China's Great Wall Motor called for a fair and open trade environment after saying it had formally submitted responses to the European Commission's anti-subsidy investigation of Chinese-made electric vehicles.

The Commission has opened an investigation into Chinese government subsidies and incentives for EVs, following concerns that European automakers could be facing unfair competition

Great Wall provided its answers to the European Commission on Oct. 11 and was the first automaker to have done so, the automaker's president, Mu Feng, said.

"We need a fair and open trade environment," Mu said on his Weibo social media account on Monday. "We have the confidence to win the competition globally."

Mu said Europe is one of the key strategic markets for Great Wall, adding that the company has big plans for the region. The company has begun site selection efforts for a plant there, envisaging full capabilities from production to sales.

Great Wall is mulling whether to locate its first European plant in Germany, Hungary or the Czech Republic, Xiangjun Meng, president of the company's European operations, told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche in May.

Great Wall sells the electric-focused Ora brand and premium Wey brand in select European markets including Germany, where it sold 3,393 new vehicles through September, according to the KBA motor authority.

Brussels began the investigation this month to decide whether to set up higher tariff barriers against what European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called a flood of cheaper Chinese EV imports benefiting from state subsidies.

It is examining EVs exported to Europe from China both from Chinese manufacturers and foreign automakers, such as Tesla, BMW and Renault.

China has complained about the "very short" time the EU set for consultations on the inquiry, saying it lacked adequate evidence and did not conform to the rules of the World Trade Organization.

European automakers are racing to catch up with China in turning out lower-cost EVs, especially as brands such as BYD, Xpeng and Nio look to expand overseas.

Great Wall ranked eighth in terms of sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars in China during the first nine months, industry figures show.