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Great Wall Motors to Close European Headquarters

Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported that Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motors will close its European headquarters in Munich, Germany. The company is facing dual pressures of slowing electric vehicle sales in the European market and uncertainty around EU policy. It also faces stiff price competition from other EV companies, some of which are offering large discounts to boost their car sales.

Great Wall Motors’ headquarters are expected to close at the end of August, with the company expected to hand off responsibility for European operations to a domestic department in China. Around 100 employees have received layoff notices so far. Employees to be laid off include Steffen Cost, head of Great Wall Motors’ European operations.

The closure of Great Wall Motors’ EU headquarters does not mean that the company will withdraw from the European market entirely. Sales business and after-sales services in the European market will still be handled by local dealers. Business units in China will conduct remote supervision and management. The previous market expansion plan, which include plans to enter eight new countries in Europe, will be suspended.

Great Wall Motors sold 1,621 units in the EU during the first four months of this year — the overall scale of the company’s market share is very small.

The EU has launched an investigation into possible Chinese government subsidy of Chinese electric vehicles; it may impose tariffs on Chinese EVs in the future. Recently, many Chinese car brands have planned to build factories in Europe to avoid the threat of tariffs.

Source: Sina, May 30, 2024