Chinese EV manufacturers challenge the established car industry in Denmark

Claus Schulz Damsted has just bought a Chinese electric car from AiWays. He has tested electric cars from both Volkswagen and Audi, but thinks he got more for his money at AiWays. The car drives 400 kilometers on a single charge, but takes 17 hours to charge. Photo: Henrik Jensen / TV2

In the last six months, several Chinese car manufacturers have launched electric cars (EVs) in Denmark, and they have already begun to challenge the established EV car industry including Volkswagen and Tesla, media TV2 reports.

According to Mikkel Thomsager, editor-in-chief of the car magazine ‘Bilmagasinet’, the importance of Chinese companies coming with experience from the world’s largest domestic market and being at the forefront of technology should not be underestimated.

“China is really far ahead in electric cars, and now they want to export to Europe. They are 100 percent aware that if you want to enter this market, then price and quality must be in relation to each other, and they have to be a little cheaper than the competitors from Europe and the USA, Mikkel Thomsager says.

Over the past ten years, the Chinese government has invested heavily in innovation and various support schemes for the industry in the hope of creating both green transformation and new jobs. It has created an explosion in the number of new electric car manufacturers and according to the BBC, there were around 400 manufacturers in China in 2020. 

In Denmark, it is especially three Chinese brands that are beginning to attract attention in the sales statistics. According to the industry organization ‘De Danske Bilimportører’, the former British MG has this year sold 107 electric cars in Denmark, SAIC Maxus Automotive Co., Ltd. trading as Maxus has sold 49, while 37 AiWays have been bought so far.

AiWays is one of the new Chinese manufacturers that in record time has developed cars for the difficult European market, among other things with the help of engineers and designers with experience from Volvo. The car costs around DKK 330,000 with the large equipment package, which makes it cheaper than a similar car from Volkswagen. But the car does not sell itself for that reason alone.

The company V Holm Jensen in Odense is one of 11 selected Suzuki dealers that sell AiWays in Denmark, and according to director Anders Østergaard Engelbrecht, it requires a little more to sell an unknown Chinese brand to Danish consumers, who ask many critical questions.

– Is it Chinese? Is it good enough? If the joints are made, it is a good finish and so on. There may be many who know one or have heard the story of someone who has been abroad and comes home with something that is almost genuine Gucci, and then all of a sudden it breaks down and then it says Made in China, says explains.

It is however still Volkswagen that sells the most electric cars and tops with 2022 sales followed by Tesla with 1111 sales in Denmark this year. 

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

One Comment on “Chinese EV manufacturers challenge the established car industry in Denmark”

  1. The EV marketing is ever-growing and it’s good to see just how international it is. I think that as more nations embrace electric vehicles, they are going to become that much more commonplace.

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