Date
24 January 2017
Some Chinese electric-vehicle makers are suspected to have inflated their production numbers in order to reap subsidy benefits. Photo: Bloomberg
Some Chinese electric-vehicle makers are suspected to have inflated their production numbers in order to reap subsidy benefits. Photo: Bloomberg

Fake numbers put China demand for electric cars in doubt

Some electric car makers in China are believed to have misreported their production numbers, casting a cloud on the real demand situation for such vehicles in the country.  

In one case, Suzhou Gemsea Coach Manufacturing Co. told the government that it produced 3,700 electric vehicles last year — almost all of them in one month.

That month was December, the last before the government reduced subsidies it pays makers of electric and hybrid vehicles, Bloomberg noted.

When inspectors visited the site in Suzhou to verify the numbers, they found a few Gemsea brand vans parked outside and hardly any modern assembly equipment inside, the report said.

The investigation casts doubt on the accuracy of reported Chinese electric-vehicle sales.

As the Beijing Auto Show approaches next week, the government is examining whether it doled out money for fake transactions by domestic companies, according to Bloomberg.

Central and local governments are said to have spent 15 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion) subsidizing new-energy vehicle makers since 2009.

After applying for subsidies for selling 25 electric vehicles during the first six months of last year, Gemsea reported hundreds of deliveries in the fall and then almost 3,000 in December.

One client was a wholly owned subsidiary, while another couldn’t verify the delivery numbers reported by Gemsea, CCTV said in a March report.

“They have reported fraudulent production and sales numbers, and even obtained number plates before production,” a government investigator said during the broadcast.

“Gemsea did this because they want subsidies.”

Gemsea declined to make its president, Yang Shuiping, available for comment, Bloomberg said.

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FL/RC

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