By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: Chinese car brands in Kuwait have overtaken German and Korean brands to become one of the major brands being sold in the country, said Zhang Jianwei, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Kuwait. Speaking to Kuwait Times on the sidelines of a workshop on Thursday titled “The Future of the Development of Chinese Cars in Kuwait”, the ambassador said that there are around 78 international car brands in Kuwait, of which 22 are Chinese brands.
“According to the statistics of the General Administration of Chinese Customs in 2021, China exported 17,859 cars to Kuwait, an annual increase of 81 percent, while the cash value amounted to $134.5 million, an increase of 99.4 percent year-on-year,” he said.
“This indicates the great technology of Chinese cars. About 10 years ago, Chinese car industry witnessed great development following the opening up of China to the world, including Kuwait, especially with the establishment of strategic relations between China and Kuwait in all fields, be it politics, economy, culture or humanitarian issues. This is the case in the field of automobile marketing as well. We expect promising prospects of exchanges between the two countries in all fields,” Zhang added.
The ambassador said during his speech at the workshop that Chinese vehicles have achieved outstanding performances and won a great reputation in the Kuwaiti market. He outlined the reasons that led to an increase in the demand for Chinese cars. “Currently, new technologies are being widely used and designs and functions are constantly being upgraded. The continuous improvement of user experience according to the demands of the domestic market is a major feature of Chinese cars,” he said.
New energy vehicles
“Since January to July 2022, China exported 295,000 new energy vehicles (NEVs), 46.6 percent of total exported cars. From opening up to other markets, introduction of joint ventures, independent production to exports abroad, the Chinese automobile industry has learned a lot and achieved significant growth in foreign exchange and continuous cooperation. The policy of sharing the benefits with other markets was a basic principle for us, while it is impossible for the Chinese car market abroad to grow unless everyone shares our success with them. Without China’s appropriate preventive and control measures and close coordination in all aspects during the pandemic, China’s auto industry would not have been able to resume work and production in time, as well as achieve a collective leap of growth,” Zhang elaborated.
Vice President of Kuwait Union of Car Agencies Mohammad Al-Duwaihees told Kuwait Times that the role of the union is to facilitate and pave the way for both government and private parties to develop the automobile market, especially Chinese cars, because of their great demand in the region, especially in Kuwait. “Today we have a large number of Chinese brands in Kuwait. So we hope that this cooperation will be in place in the coming days, and we look forward to more cooperation with relevant government authorities,” he said.
“The huge presence of Chinese cars in Kuwait is primarily due to our special nature, being a country with a long tradition of using cars, since the thirties. This makes Kuwaiti consumers experts in the automobile field. Since young people constitute the largest proportion of our society, technology has become a prerequisite in any industry. Since the Chinese automobile industry has become very developed and it possesses the most advanced technology, it is able to attract a large number of consumers, particularly the youth,” Duwaihees pointed out.