China's Great Wall Motor is first EV maker to respond to EU anti-subsidy probe
Great Wall Motor of China has officially responded to the European Commission's investigation into subsidies for Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) and has called for a fair and transparent trade environment.
Tensions between China and the European Union have been escalating, partly due to China's closer relationship with Moscow following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the meantime, the EU is striving to reduce its reliance on the world's second-largest economy as it pursues a green transition.
Great Wall's President, Mu Feng, emphasized the need for fairness and openness in trade, stating on his Weibo social media account, "We need a fair and open trade environment.
We have the confidence to win the competition globally."
Great Wall Motor was the first automaker to formally provide responses to the European Commission on October 11, marking its proactive approach to the situation. Mu Feng highlighted the significance of Europe as a key strategic market for the company, indicating their substantial plans for the region, including the selection of a site for a plant with full manufacturing and sales capabilities.
However, the company did not immediately respond to requests for further comments on Tuesday.
Reports suggest that Great Wall Motor is planning to establish a manufacturing plant in Europe, and Germany was mentioned as a potential location, as reported by the German publication Automobilwoche in May.
The European Commission initiated the investigation this month to determine whether to impose tariff barriers on Chinese-made EVs that are believed to benefit from state subsidies. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen referred to these vehicles as a "flood of cheaper Chinese EV imports." The investigation encompasses EVs produced by both Chinese manufacturers and foreign companies like Tesla (TSLA.O), BMW (BMWG.DE), and Renault (RENA.PA) in China.
China has raised concerns about the limited time provided by the EU for consultations in the inquiry, arguing that it lacked sufficient evidence and did not conform to the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
European automakers are striving to catch up with China in producing more affordable EVs, particularly as Chinese manufacturers such as BYD, Xpeng, and Nio expand their global presence.
Industry figures indicate that Great Wall Motor ranked eighth in terms of sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars in China during the first nine months of the year.