Electric cars are all the rage in China, and the latest brand to make a splash is Nezha. Named after the Chinese mythological character who is a patron saint of young adults, Nezha is taking the market by storm with its compact SUVs.
According to the company, deliveries of its vehicles more than doubled in 2022 to surpass 152,000. The majority of these deliveries were of the Nezha V, a compact SUV that starts at just 83,900 yuan ($12,000) after subsidies.
Meanwhile, the well-established Chinese electric car brand NIO did lower numbers than Nezha. The company delivered around 122,000 electric cars in 2022 – which is still an increase of 34% from the previous year. NIO’s vehicles are larger SUVs with longer driving ranges and more features, and they start around 400,000 yuan. However, NIO has emphasized its focus on the higher-end segment and has hinted at plans to launch a mass market brand.
In contrast, budget electric car Hongguang Mini has held the bestseller spot among new energy passenger cars in China. As of November, year-to-date sales had exceeded 370,000 vehicles. However, the Hongguang Mini is much smaller than Nezha’s SUVs and sedans.
Nezha is also looking to expand its reach beyond China. The company exported about 3,500 cars in 2022, and the brand has started to push into Southeast Asia with a partnership in Thailand. Nezha is also known as Neta, and has an English-language website that shows it’s looking for partners in the Philippines and Cambodia.
The Chinese government has been supportive of the domestic electric car industry, and cities have preferential policies that encourage people to switch to electric-powered cars. Despite the drag of Covid controls on China’s retail sales in 2022, electric car sales continued to grow. More than a quarter of passenger cars sold in 2022 through the end of November were new energy vehicles, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
However, competition is fierce. Chinese battery and car manufacturer BYD remained a giant with sales of more than 911,000 electric cars in 2022, an increase of 180% from the previous year. The company has a wide range of models, and its new luxury brand Yangwang launched earlier this month.
SOURCE | IMAGES: CNBC
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