Germany Lines Up with China in Trade War
Germany's top manufacturing companies -- Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, BASF and Siemens -- announced tens of billions of dollars of new investments in China as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang posed for a photo op with German Chancellor Merkel in Berlin.
Houston, we've got a problem. Forget about Harley-Davidson. Some of the world's most powerful industrial firms have just given China a gigantic vote of confidence.
BMW will expand its joint venture with Brilliance Auto to produce 519,000 vehicles a year. It also set up a joint venture to produce an electric version of the Mini together with Great Wall Auto. And it agreed to buy $4.7 billion worth of batteries from Chinese producer CATL, which just announced a new plant in southern Germany. Volkswagen earlier this year announced that it would invest $18 billion in China by 2022 and construct six plants to build electric vehicles. Oh, and BMW will move some of its SUV production out of its South Carolina plant in response to auto tariffs.
Daimler will start to test self-driving cars in Beijing. China's new cities are designed to accommodate self-driving cars, unlike older American cities. Chemical giant BASF will spend $10 billion on a second giant facility in China. And Siemens will develop gas turbines together with China's State Power Investment Co.