Automotive Development in Italy: New Investments from China

Automotive Development in Italy: New Investments from China

Italy, and Europe more generally, is a global benchmark for the automotive industry as home to several of the world’s largest and most iconic car companies. In this period of economic recovery, following re-openings and the easing of restrictive measures, both the Italian government and foreign companies have decided to focus on this important sector for the national industry.

Specifically, last August 4th, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development approved a 750-million-euro aid package for the automotive supply chain, 525 million of which were for Development Contracts and 225 million for Innovation Agreements. In addition, incentives have been provided for the purchase of non-polluting vehicles for people with lower incomes through which they can receive incentives of up to 7,500 euros.

In fact, the common denominator is the support and promotion of the green transition, research and investment in the sector with the aim of an increasingly zero-impact future. The government’s goal is to achieve an important result, namely to equip the country with a valid industrial policy strategy to support the technological and ecological transformation of the automotive production chain by encouraging the purchase of non-polluting vehicles through incentives.

The Entry of Chinese Players Into Italian Industry

After the almost total shutdown due to the pandemic, the Italian automotive industry recorded increasingly encouraging numbers, posting +10% in car sales in August for the first time in almost a year, followed by +5.24% in September.

In this major sector, numerous foreign companies have decided to invest. Specifically, Chinese automotive companies which have focused very much on the Italian and European markets and, above all, with great foresight on the electric car sector. In fact, China enjoys great availability of raw materials for batteries and a high level of technological know-how, factors of primary importance that have made it, and certainly will make it, one of the future major players in the global automotive industry.

Among the players planning to enter the automotive market in 2023, the first to be mentioned is definitely SWM, a Shineray Group company based in Chongqing, which plans to commercialize two models: an endothermic crossover called “G01” and an electric vehicle “X30LEV,” which already count numerous pre-orders and will be distributed throughout Italy from the Biandronno headquarters in the province of Varese and through a network of authorized dealers. The Italian headquarters is the hub of the European business and a reference point for the European and U.S. markets.

Nio, based in Shanghai and listed on the New York, Hong Kong and soon Singapore stock exchanges, has decided to take over the European electric car market with determination. After recently announcing its entry into the Swedish, Danish, Dutch and German markets, the unprecedented Nio cars will also be available for purchase in Italy starting in 2024.

Among others we find Link & Co. leading among Chinese brands in car sales in Italy despite having entered the market just over a year ago. Eco-sustainability coupled with appealing new methods of use, such as the innovative “subscription” mode that allows people to pay a monthly fee to use the car without buying it, has enabled the brand to make a strong entry into the market.

Finally, we have the recent news of the debut of Chery‘s Chinese electric SUV, which has chosen Italy for its entry into the European market. The company, a leader in the Chinese market in terms of exports, thanks also to its partnership with Fiat, aims to build a solid and widespread sales and service network throughout the country.


The Italian and European markets represent a consolidated target for Chinese and, more generally, Asian companies in many sectors. Thanks to numerous incentives, especially in the green energy sector, economic interchanges are growing more and more with Italian companies increasingly beginning to enter the Asian market, including through joint ventures and partnerships.

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Automotive Development in Italy: New Investments from China(图1)

Automotive Development in Italy: New Investments from China(图2)