13th November 2024
NEC Birmingham

AM Online article: Which Chinese OEMs will succeed in the UK?

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This article first appeared in a September article for AM Online manufacturers.

Chinese car manufacturers' plans for the UK market will be under the spotlight as part of a special strategy session at this year’s AM Live.

The show will feature a special panel session featuring analysis from former Hyundai and Toyota boss Tony Whitehorn, as well as insights from Owen Edwards, Grant Thornton head of downstream automotive and Mike Dean, Bloomberg Intelligence’s global head of automotive research. This panel will discuss how the dynamics of the UK’s new car market will change as more brands look to take market share from established European players.

AM Live, brought to you by AM and the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA), is free to attend for franchised and independent dealer professionals and offers four dedicated seminar theatres and an exhibition hall packed with the latest innovations from the UK’s leading automotive retail suppliers.

Tony Whitehorn
Consultant and former 
Hyundai & Toyota boss
Owen Edwards,
Head of Downstream Automotive,
Grant Thornton
Mike Dean,
Global Head of Automotive Research,
Bloomberg Intelligence


Franchised dealers have long been successful in choosing new brands to partner with to unlock further opportunities in the future. Brands like Kia, Hyundai, Suzuki and MG are all examples of what can happen when things go well. However, there are so many different brands looking to enter the UK with a mix of approaches to market too. Some, like BYD, Great Wall and Omoda are looking to establish traditional franchise relationships at a time when other brands like Volvo, Mercedes and more are moving away from this way of working with agency. Other brands looking to launch in the UK include Geely’s Zeekr, HiPhi, XPeng, Nio and Aiways.

Whitehorn said: “BYD and Great Wall are the two brands that have very quickly come to market in the UK most recently.

“There is a bow wave of other brands coming right behind them and just about all of them are looking to launch in 2024.

“It really is a fascinating time in the UK market right now with all these new Chinese brands looking to succeed.”

Whitehorn will share his views on building new entrant OEM brands, building on his years of experience with Toyota and Hyundai, his views on Chinese manufacturer aftersales infrastructure challenges, multi-franchising and how incumbent OEMs will react, as well as his thoughts on the agency vs franchise model and pricing strategies.

Some of the areas Edwards will cover includes insights into current and future battery technologies, as well as how Chinese brand consolidation within its domestic market is influencing European expansion plans. Dean will offer his views on the profitability of these Chinese companies and why they have a structural advantage on electric vehicles in particular. Bloomberg Intelligence has also undertaken a new consumer car buyers survey for Europe, so Dean will be able to share some interesting takeaways for discussion.

This strategy session is just one from a packed schedule of content across AM Live, with dedicated theatres for Digital, Sales and Aftersales too. View the full exhibition seminar programme.

Book your free ticket to AM Live now for November 9 at the NEC.



This article first appeared in an September article for AM Online manufacturers.