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what do we know about the Dongfeng landing

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what do we know about the Dongfeng landing

It is Dongfeng, a giant with headquarters in Wuhan, the Chinese car manufacturer ready to land in Italy. According to rumors from Bloomberg, discussions are underway for the opening of a plant for over 100 thousand vehicles per year. The executive is trying to attract a new car manufacturer after clashing with Stellantis’ plans deemed penalizing (cutting jobs and moving positions to low-cost sites) and the Chinese option has gained momentum.

Dongfeng already collaborates with Honda and Nissan, but in China it also produces Peugeot and Citroen. Traditionally it is considered one of the “Big Three” car manufacturers, today numbers in hand are among the top 4 together with Chang’an Motors, FAW Group, and SAIC Motor. The Meloni government will offer some options for production sites in the coming weeks. There is great anticipation.

Urso: “We are the only country in Europe to have a single producer”

On the day in which the Dongfeng group says it is willing to build 100 thousand cars in Italy, Business Minister Adolfo Urso recalls that “we have shared with Stellantis the objective of building one million vehicles in a short time in Italy, reversing production compared to the decline of the last years”. Speaking on “Porta a Porta”, on Rai Uno, Urso explains how “at the same time we are all aware that with a single manufacturer we cannot support such a beautiful and extraordinary industry as that of our components”. “We are the only country in Europe to have a single manufacturer. In other European countries there are from four to seven different car manufacturers that supply a variety of models. We too are therefore open to foreign investments that want to produce cars, perhaps to a affordable price”.

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“In recent months, 4-5 car manufacturers have come to our ministry, and not just Chinese ones”, concluded the minister who, in response to the doubts of Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, recalled that “Stellantis has become a partner of a Chinese company: it seems to me curious that he might believe he is the only one to do so.”

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Dongfeng’s plans in Italy

“Italy is one of the largest European automotive markets and for a Chinese car manufacturer, having local production means being able to supply all the other countries in the area,” said Qian Xie, head of operations in Europe, who is in Milan on the sidelines of an event by Voyah, Dongfeng’s new brand. Voyah is launching its initiatives in Italy, in Milan, during the Design Week and Fuorisalone 2024.

We are only at the beginning, the talks will proceed in the next few days. But as of today it is “official” that Dongfeng Motor Group Co. is in preliminary negotiations with the Italian Government for the production of cars in Italy. The Chinese giant is under pressure. The peak reached in 2017 with 2.83 million deliveries is far away, last year Dongfeng sales fell to 1.72 million.

Known as Second Automobile Works until 1992, Dongfeng (or “East Wind” in Chinese) was founded in 1969. Its origins lie in a directive from Chairman Mao Zedong: as part of his “Third Front” strategy , its location in the hinterland of Hubei province was intended to protect China from foreign invasion.

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Hybrid cars

“In Italy we can take advantage of all the strong heritage that the country has in the automotive industry”, Xie specified, because “despite Dongfeng ‘strongly’ believing in an electric future, starting now for Italy the car manufacturer should focus on hybrid cars.” Italy, with 4% of sales of electrified vehicles, is well below the European average of 15 percent.

Meanwhile in Mirafiori new production stop until May 6th, redundancy fund for thousands of workers.

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