China is the world’s largest vehicle market, selling more than 28 million cars and trucks in 2016, compared with 18 million in the United States. Almost all the vehicles sold in China are made in China, supporting a diverse ecosystem of 76 component making conglomerates, and 184 vehicle assemblers, in addition to dozens of indigenous brands.
After a decade of double-digit growth, the market is now starting to mature. Most urban households have already purchased at
least one car, and, according to McKinsey & Company, half of those households are considering “trading up” to newer and better models. Meanwhile, the shape of China’s auto industry could change radically if Chinese authorities make good on their promise to eventually prohibit the sale of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, in favor of those powered by batteries. Faced with the need to adapt, Chinese domestic auto makers are scouting the globe to buy premium brands, advanced technologies, and companies capable of conducting R&D into electric vehicles.
Beijing WKW Automotive Parts manufactures automotive interior and exterior trims as well as intelligent electronics systems. Since 2015, the company has expanded into the alternative energy vehicle industry and has invested in production sites in Germany.
In September 2015, Beijing WKW and Faurecia, a French automotive supplier, established a 50/50 joint venture for a total of €14 million. This new entity will specialize in making aluminum auto interior decoration parts for Asian markets. In April 2017, Beijing WKW received approval to invest €1.14 million in a new production facility in Rothenburg, Germany. The facility will manufacture what the company claims to be premium electric vehicles to be sold in the German and Chinese markets.