BMW AG has received a request for information from the European Union about its iX3 sport utility vehicle, which it exports from Chinese production facilities, as part of the bloc’s probe into Beijing’s subsidies for electric-vehicle makers.
(Bloomberg) — BMW AG has received a request for information from the European Union about its iX3 sport utility vehicle, which it exports from Chinese production facilities, as part of the bloc’s probe into Beijing’s subsidies for electric-vehicle makers.
The German carmaker is currently filling out the questionnaires for the probe, Chief Financial Officer Walter Mertl told reporters Friday on a call. The questionnaires have to be answered within a week, providing details such as investments and manufacturing capacities for EVs exported from China, according to a BMW spokesperson.
The request adds to evidence that the EU is gathering data not only from Chinese EV-makers such as Nio, BYD and SAIC Motor, but also from western carmakers that manufacture there, as it assesses the degree of state support for the EV industry. Tesla Inc.’s exports from China are also a target of the anti-subsidy probe.
Read more: Tesla’s China Exports in Crosshairs of EU Anti-Subsidy Probe
The investigation has the potential to reshape the competitive dynamics within Europe, the second-largest EV market after China, and raises the risk that its own carmakers could face potential retaliation and countervailing measures. BMW exported between 15,000 and 20,000 iX3 SUV’s from China last year.
“Not only BMW stands to lose,” Mertl said. “This will impact all international carmakers who do business in China.”
Globally, demand for BMW vehicles is still holding up, Mertl said. Total sales rose more than 5% during the first nine months compared to last year, he said. BMW’s world-wide EV sales gained by a “high double-digit percentage” rate in the last three months.
BMW produces the electric iX3 SUV exclusively through BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., its joint venture in Shenyang, China. Starting next year, BMW also plans to produce electric Mini Cooper vehicles in China for export to Europe with its partner Great Wall Motor Co.
Through the first seven months of this year, Tesla sold an estimated 93,700 made-in-China vehicles across Western Europe, accounting for roughly 47% of its total deliveries, according to Schmidt Automotive Research.
The next biggest exporter of EVs from China to Europe was SAIC’s MG, with roughly 57,500 registrations. Renault SA, which makes the electric Dacia Spring in China for export, hasn’t said whether it has been contacted about the probe.
(Updates with EU information request details in second, sales details in sixth paragraph)
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