China’s Beijing WKW Automotive Parts Co. today announced it would invest up to $1.24 billion on an electric car factory in Germany. The factory will create up to 1,000 jobs in the eastern state of Saxony, according to a report from Bloomberg.
“Saxony is already a car state and we want that to remain so in the future,” regional Economy Minister Martin Dulig said in a statement released Thursday. Saxony is already home to manufacturing plants owned by automotive giants Volkswagen and BMW. WKW will benefit from proximity to about 750 car part suppliers in the region, according to the statement.
Twenty five percent of the Chinese company is owned by Germany’s WKW Erbsloh Automotive GmbH. But it says it will invest through its subsidiary Delon Automotive GmbH to develop and manufacture the vehicles.
China wants 11% of all car sales to be electric by 2020. The world’s second-largest economy registered as many as 352,000 new electric vehicles in 2016, compared to only 159,000 cars registered in the United States during the same period. The country is also working hard to improve charging infrastructure, with the government planning to introduce 100,000 public charging stations in 2017 alone.
A new market research report entitled ‘Electric Vehicles 2017-2037: Forecasts, Analysis and Opportunities’ expects electric vehicles to be a $731 billion market by 2027, and says it will profoundly change society by 2037. Similarly, the 'Global Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Market' is poised for significant growth. It is forecast to grow at a CAGR of around 30.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $28.2 billion by 2025.
But not everyone has reacted positively to the news. German automotive analyst Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer told Bloomberg that he believes WKW isn’t equipped to build these premium electric cars.
“It’s very hard to imagine innovative design coming from the plan,” Dudenhoeffer said. “This is a big announcement but will it ever see the light of day? I have my doubts.”
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