Chinese EVs posing threat to U.S. automakers despite increase in tariffs

Welcome back to the latest episode of The Future of Automotive on CBT News, where we put recent automotive and mobility news into the context of the broader themes impacting the industry.

I’m Steve Greenfield from Automotive Ventures, and I’m glad that you could join us.

There’s growing concern in the U.S. and Europe about the threat of Chinese made vehicles on the legacy automakers, despite the recent announcement from the White House that EV tariffs are increasing from 25% to 100%.

Out this week, a study from consulting firm AlixPartners that Chinese automotive brands are expected to achieve 33% market share across the globe by 2030.

The Chinese made a big, successful strategic bet over the past decade that EVs would become the dominant drivetrain globally, and as a result locked up the vast majority of battery production and the related battery supply chain.

But even as the U.S. enacts trade policies to protect the domestic market, Chinese automakers continue their steady march to global dominance on the strength of their electric vehicle product offerings.

What AlixPartners described as an “overtime culture” in China enables companies to release new vehicles and product updates faster than their overseas rivals.

China has popularized what has been called the 996 working hour system.

The 996 working hour system is a work schedule practiced illegally by many companies in China. It derives its name from its requirement that employees work from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, 6 days per week.

That equates to working 72 hours per week.

A number of Mainland Chinese internet companies have adopted this system as their official work schedule. Critics argue that the 996 working hour system is a violation of Chinese Labor Law and some have even called it “modern slavery”.

What AlixPartners described as an “overtime culture” in China enables companies to release new vehicles and product updates faster than their overseas rivals. Some battery materials companies there have been accused of engaging in forced labor.

Since 2019, the 996 issue has been met with growing discontent in China, but despite official promises to get rid of the system, it is still widespread in the country.

AlixPartners found that Chinese brands’ share of the automotive market is expected to double in Europe to 12% by 2030, and more than double in Russia to 69%. The firm anticipates Chinese brand share to triple in Central America and South America to 28% and nearly quadruple in the Middle East and Africa to 39%. Chinese brands are also expected to achieve more than 30% market share in South Asia and Southeast Asia, up from only 3% in 2024.

Both U.S. and European tariffs are likely only buying time and nothing more. Eventually, with the establishment of local production, especially in Europe, tariffs may prove to only be a short-term band aid.

As the U.S. erects prohibitive tariffs against Chinese EVs, it will protect the legacy automakers in the short term. But if China continues to out-innovate the U.S. in terms of EV and battery technology, and the world shifts towards EVs as the dominant drivetrain of the future, protecting legacy automakers from forced competition and innovation may just be delaying their inevitable demise.

So, with that, let’s transition to Our Companies to Watch.

Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to keep an eye on. If you read my weekly Intel Report, we showcase a company to watch, and take the opportunity here on this segment each week to share that company with you.

Today, our new company to watch is QuantivRisk.

Vehicles today collect enormous amounts of data. QuantivRisk takes this data and uses it to evaluate accidents.

The company evaluates accidents with vehicle performance data points to give you a clear visual representation of what actually happened.

QuantivRisk can quickly learn how an accident happened, not by some person’s version of how it happened, but by the actual data in the vehicle and in the cloud.

They take data from crashes and analyze the relevant metrics that include angles of impact, speed of the car, braking, and rotational forces.

If you’d like to learn more about QuantivRisk you can check them out at

So that’s it for this week’s Future of Automotive segment.

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Don’t forget to check out my book, The Future of Automotive Retail, which is available on And keep an eye out for my new book, “The Future of Mobility”, which is almost done, and will be out soon.

Thanks (as always) for your ongoing support and for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Future of Automotive segment. We’ll see you next week!