Lantu announces its entry into Italy, Chinese car companies’ European strategy enters a new stage

After entering Northern Europe in 2022, Lantu landed in Southern Europe in 2024 and began to expand into the Italian market.

On April 16, local time, Lantu Automobile officially launched its brand in Italy and introduced pure electric versions of Lantu FREE and Lantu Dreamer models to the Italian market. In the future, Lanhai hybrid models will also enter the Italian market as soon as possible, allowing Lanhai Power to go overseas in full power mode.
Since Lantu announced its entry into Norway in 2022, after nearly two years of cultivation in the European market, the popularity of the brand and products has been significantly improved. Beginning in 2024, the Lantu brand has continuously entered the markets of many European countries. In early April, Lantu landed in the Czech Republic. According to the plan, Lantu will also enter more deep European markets such as Slovakia, Germany, Spain, Portugal and countries along the “Belt and Road”.

Going overseas has become a common choice for many Chinese car companies. Compared with the involution of the domestic market, the overseas car market currently has insufficient competition and can provide companies with relatively better profit returns. Among them, Southeast Asia and Europe have become popular choices.

Among them, the European market, which has greater acceptance of new energy vehicles, higher prices and insufficient market competition, has been focused on by many Chinese car companies. Data from the General Administration of Customs show that China’s automobile exports reached 4.91 million units in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 57.9%. Among them, new energy vehicle exports reached 1.203 million units, accounting for 24.5%. At the same time, exports to Europe accounted for 24.5%. 38%, far exceeding other regions.

Judging from the European layout of Chinese car companies, car companies such as Lantu, Xpeng, NIO, and BYD have previously prioritized their entry into Europe from Nordic countries such as Norway and Sweden. The previous policies in the above-mentioned regions were relatively friendly to new energy vehicles, and consumers were more accepting of them. Data shows that the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in Norway has reached 88.5%.

In the past two years, many Chinese car companies have entered a new stage in their European layout: they have begun to enter deep European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy. Data shows that the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in countries such as Italy and Spain is less than 20%; at the same time, Italy will increase investment in new energy vehicles in 2024 and issue multiple policies to stimulate people to increase the purchase of new energy vehicles. In addition to Lantu’s announcement of entering Italy, Xiaopeng will start sales in Germany in May this year; Leappo also plans to enter the mainstream European market this year.

With the intensive deployment of Chinese car companies in Europe and the increase in the sales volume of Chinese car brands in Europe, many car companies and supply chain overseas personnel have told reporters that as the scale of car exports expands, Chinese car companies need to change their overseas model. From pure trade export to a higher stage.

Take Lantu Automobile as an example. Its products exported to Europe need to meet EU regulations, especially the GSR2.0 general safety framework regulations, and have carried out all-round inspections on network security, OTA, ISA intelligent speed assist, alcohol lock, E-call, etc. Developed to ensure full compliance with EU access regulations.

In response to localized user needs, Lantu has conducted extensive customer demand research and targeted development on European models’ tow hooks, Carplay, cloud platform, vehicle language, European standard charging, steering wheel and rear seat heating, etc. Ensure products meet the differentiated needs of local markets.

An overseas business manager of a domestic car company believes that the entry of brands such as Lantu into Italy and other southern European regions with the latest smart car products will help change local users’ stereotypes of Chinese cars; at the same time, the first batch of products will have to deal with European standards. It has accumulated sufficient experience in research and development, compliance, etc., and can lay a solid foundation for subsequent brand operations through communication with early users.

Data recently released by the Passenger Car Association shows that from January to February 2024, China’s new energy vehicle sales exceeded 1.9 million units, accounting for 62% of the global market share. In the tide of the global new energy vehicle market, China has not only achieved rapid growth in sales, but also made remarkable achievements in technology research and development, industrial chain improvement, and export expansion.

The Passenger Car Association believes that the future development potential of China’s new energy vehicles is still huge. With the transformation and upgrading of the global automobile industry and consumers’ increasing attention to environmentally friendly travel, the demand for new energy vehicles will continue to grow.