The failure of the first serious attempt by China’s carmakers to conquer European markets, around 15 years ago, was self-inflicted. Their cars were terrible. The shabby quality of Brilliance’s “bs” range (no joke) was matched with looks that scarcely merited the word “design”. Since then the Chinese car industry has become the world’s biggest and its products have improved immeasurably. It churns out more electric vehicles (evs) than any other country, and many are anything but bs. It is also an ev-battery superpower.
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ev-friendly Europe is again in China’s sights. Norway, where generous tax breaks mean that four out of five cars sold are fully electric, has served as a bridgehead. Now Chinese firms are launching a wider assault on the continent. In Berlin on October 7th Nio, a Tesla wannabe,…