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EV Boosts the Growth of China's Auto Giant - Changan Auto

By KENNY DONGICHONGQING|May 09,2022

Chongqing – China’s auto giant Changan Auto based in Chongqing reported strong growth empowered by the electric vehicle (EV) sector in the first quarter of 2022.

Changan Auto’s net profit totaled 4.536 billion yuan (about 674.5 million U.S. dollars), a year-on-year increase of 431.45%, exceeding that of last year, according to the company’s first-quarter financial report. Among this large-number net profit, about 2.13 billion yuan came from Changan selling part of shares of its electric vehicle brand AVATR, counting for about 50% of the total profit. AVATR, which was a subsidiary of Changan founded in 2018, has its first model AVATR 11 under development. It reported its latest value of assessment to 6.26 billion yuan. About five months earlier, this number was only 789 million yuan.

AVATR 11 was the first model of this new EV brand that is given great hope by its former parent company Changan. (Photo provided by Changan Auto)

After the selling, Changan Auto now holds 39.02% of the shares as the biggest shareholder, followed by the China’s battery giant CATL (23.09%) which just upgraded the production license for its Germany factory in Thuringia, and was recently revealed by Reuters, of planning to build a new battery factory in the United States. The stock of Changan shot up through the roof after AVATR’s capital increase was announced on April 29.

Even left the shares dealing revenue and other non-recurring profit, there was still about 2.27 billion yuan of profit, a year-on-year increase of 215.24%, which showed the strong endurance of this old auto giant amid the global economic downturn. However, the company is aware of its increasingly difficult growth over the past few years and is promoting transformation. In 2021, Changan Auto’s R&D investment increased by 24.3%, of which the new energy investment grew by 60%, and investment in software and intelligence rose by 89%, according to Wang Jun, President of Changan Auto at the company’s annual performance report conference a week ago.

Since last year, Changan Auto has released two EV brands. Among them, Shenlan is projected to roll out five products, and AVATR four products. Changan’s existing brands like Changan OSHAN Auto will also accelerate their transformation towards electrification by launching hybrid cars and range-extend electric cars.

AVATR said its design team came from Munich, Germany, led by the former BMW designer Nader Faghihzadeh. (Photo provided by Changan Auto)

“Last year, the electric vehicle market has driven from policy to market demand. We have accelerated to introduce more brands, and to roll out more products”, said Zhu Huarong, Chairman of Changan Auto.

Released by the company, the AVATR 11 model that is contributed by Changan Auto’s experience, CATL’s battery, and Huawei’s smart systems has rolled off the production line, and entered the third round of trial production now, with more than 100 test vehicles rolling off the production line. The new model will formally meet the public at Beijing Motor Show 2022.

By 2025, Changan Auto will invest 80 billion yuan in electric vehicle development and other fields to build a new energy product matrix including LUMIN, C385, AVATR 11, C673, and other models.

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