Honda CEO: Chinese Car Buyers Not Ready for 'Green' Cars

Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito sees buyers in China want good-quality car with an affordable price that doesn’t break down; hybrids are not on their radar.

Published: 21-Apr-2013

Shanghai’s auto show is filled with hybrids and electric cars – a big industry theme in the months since massive blankets of pollution covered entire regions.

But Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito doesn’t think Chinese consumers are looking for green-tech rides despite the new wave of eco-friendly cars unveiled during the show, or amid and the Japanese auto maker’s own push to strengthen its hybrid lineup in recent years.

“Overall, we have high hopes for hybrid technology. In terms of how important it is to the Chinese market we are slowly releasing products and looking at how they do,” Mr. Ito told reporters in Shanghai on Saturday. “But we think there are still more Chinese consumers who want to simply buy a car that fits their needs rather than buy a hybrid. By needs I mean a good-quality car with an affordable price that doesn’t break down. At present, we think these take higher priority.”


 JAC car assembly plan in Hefei, China

Staff at the ministries will drive a fleet of 23 electric cars BYD Co Ltd and JAC Motors.

Roewe E50 retails for between 220,000-240,000 yuans.

Government incentives could save electric car buyers the equivalent of US$16,000 (1000,000 yuan).

One of first Shanghai electric car license plates issued to Qian Jun.

With new ICE-age car plates costing up to $12,000 at auction, free plates for electric cars is seen as a strong incentive for drivers to buy electric cars.


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