Atlanta-based Novelis, a leading producer of rolled aluminum and aluminum recycling, pledged that it will continue its partnership with China and expand investment in China's automotive industry, especially the electric vehicle sector.

"The driving force behind our business strategy in China is the nation's increasingly strict policy against pollution," said Pierre Labat, vice-president for global automotive at Novelis, told China Daily.

In 2014, the $10 billion company with 24 operating facilities in 10 countries chose Changzhou, Jiangsu province, as the site for its first manufacturing facility in China, due to the area's convenient logistics and government incentives for foreign investment and resources.

Starting with a $100 million investment from scratch, Novelis' Changzhou plant now boasts an annual production capacity of 120,000 tons of heat-treated aluminum sheet, and meets the rapidly growing demand from conventional and new generation automakers for rolled aluminum to be used in lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

To help solve its climate change and emissions issues, China has issued strict regulations and proposed radical amendments to emissions legislation which have resulted in a boost to electric vehicle (EV) manufacture and sales.

According to the comprehensive framework, auto manufacturers are to meet aggressive sales targets for EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs of 7 percent by 2020 and 19 percent by 2025.

Novalis decided to cash in on the transformation of China's automotive industry and push forward its existing business in the world's second-largest economy.

Already with a foothold in North America, Europe and Asia where demand for auto aluminum is high, Novelis believes the market potential in China is about to explode.

"If we look at our total automotive sales in the world, China is currently about 10 percent, fairly small," said Labat. "But it's our fastest growing market that yields highest-percentage of growth, six-fold explosive growth since we went there five years ago."

In March, Novelis expanded its portfolio of automotive customers into the EV sector by adding Shanghai-based electric vehicle startup NIO to its client pool, which already included Ford, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, GM, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Kia, and others.

According to the agreement, NIO's electric SUV ES8 models will adopt Novelis' aluminum alloys to create a wide range of structural vehicle components and parts.

The EV startup, which draws investment from Baidu, Tencent, Temasek, Sequoia Capital, Lenovo and other institutional investors, unveiled its full-size 7-seat ES8 at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. More than 16 feet long, the ES8 has an all-aluminum body to minimize weight and optimize performance.

NIO founder and chairman William Li called the partnership "mutually beneficial."

"It will bring confidence and new capacities to the booming global EV market. We will work together closely and push forward application of lightweight materials in the next generation of electric vehicles," he said.

The NIO partnership marks Novelis' first major commitment in the premium EV market in China, said Todd Summer, Novelis' vice-president of global research and development.

"We are now positioning ourselves as being more than a material supplier. We are collaborators and problem solvers to meet the increasing demand from a new generation of automakers," Summer said, adding that supply for NIO will come from the Changzhou plant.

Hiring around 200 local employees, the Changzhou plant can now serve auto manufacturers in China, Asia and beyond.

"We are considering expanding in Changzhou later this year," said Labat. "It's very, very clear that the market there is mature enough for us to grow bigger."

Daimler moved to head off a growing crisis over emissions concerns by voluntarily recalling more than 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles in Europe, marking the latest blow to the technology since Volkswagen's cheating scandal erupted nearly two years ago.

The carmaker will extend an ongoing upgrade of 250,000 compacts and vans to nearly every modern Mercedes diesel on the road Dating Service.

The plan, which involves a software patch and avoids complex component fixes, will cost about 220 million euros ($255 million), the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said on Tuesday. The move comes against a backdrop of the massive fines that beset VW, and as Mercedes continues to face investigations in Germany and the United States.

"This is about managing diesel's decline as gently as possible and to get a little bit of reprieve," said Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with Evercore ISI.

"That's not going to change the fundamental direction of the shift in technology."

Diesel, which powers about half of the cars sold in Europe every year thanks to taxes that make the fuel cheaper at the pump, has been increasingly under attack since Volkswagen admitted to duping regulators in September 2015.

With the technology crucial to Daimler's strategy to meet targets for lower carbon-dioxide emissions, the automaker can ill afford to have diesel further sullied by doubts and allegations boutique hotel hongkong.

Germany's Transport Ministry, which said it will check additional Mercedes models for possible emissions violations, said the decision sent a good signal ahead of an Aug 2 national task force meeting on diesel in Berlin.

The ministry will push forward with a review of Mercedes cars announced recently with the German motor transport authority, ministry spokesman Sebastian Hille told reporters on Wednesday.

As well as recalling diesels with Euro-5 and -6 emissions standards, the manufacturer also .

The plan marks a conciliatory step after Daimler vowed to fight accusations of cheating by "all legal means" following a meeting with government officials in Berlin. The crisis has clouded Daimler for months, with hundreds of police officers and prosecutors searching company sites in May.

German authorities have been scrutinizing the carmaker for possible emissions cheating involving two engines used by Mercedes, and Daimler is also the subject of a US probe into allegedly excessive diesel emissions.

"This is finally a proactive move to put something on the table and a solid attempt at getting out in front of the debate," said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler international student exchange programs.

Daimler's estimation for the cost of the recall, at about 70 euros per car, is "extraordinarily low" and could rise, he said.

Unlike Volkswagen, which admitted it deceived regulators, Daimler said it adhered to regulations that allow vehicles to reduce emissions controls to protect a car's engine.

Still, ongoing concerns about diesel in the aftermath of the Volkswagen scandal have prompted the home states of Daimler, BMW and Audi to push for fixes on older models to cut air pollution.

The emissions crackdown extends beyond Germany, with France's Energy Ministry earlier this month saying the country would end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040.

Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have all said they will ban diesel vehicles from their roads by 2025.

One of Daimler's peers is preempting these stricter rules.

Volvo Car Group said this month it will phase out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels and offer only hybrid or full-electric motors on every new model launched in 2019 or later.

nternational carmakers are accelerating their efforts to produce new energy vehicles in China to seize a larger share of the world's largest market for such cars.

Last week, German car giant Daimler signed a framework agreement in Berlin with China's BAIC Group to produce Mercedes-Benz-branded electric cars via their joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive.

In accordance with the 5 billion yuan ($736 million) agreement, the two are preparing to produce electric vehicles in China by 2020 and to provide the necessary infrastructure for battery localization using Chinese cells, as well as to expand research and development capacities.

The deal came as the Chinese authorities are encouraging international cooperation in the sector almo nature.

"Carmakers are encouraged to make the most of international technologies, capital and human resources to raise the level of China's new energy vehicle sector," said the National Development and Reform Commission. The comments were made in a document released last month in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The country is expected to build a globally competitive automotive industry within 10 years, with new energy vehicles one of its top priorities, according to an industry guideline released in April.

By 2020, China expects domestic sales of electric, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars to reach 2 million, and such cars are to account for 20 percent of all auto sales by 2025 LPG M6.

Hubertus Troska, member of Daimler' board of management, said: "By 2025, the Chinese market will have a substantial share in global sales of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles. Therefore, local production will be key to the success of our electric car portfolio, and crucial to flexibly serving local demand for electric vehicles.

"With our planned localization of electric cars and batteries with Chinese cells, we are dedicated to strengthening the region as an innovative hub for the automotive industry."

Earlier last month, Daimler also announced its intention to acquire a minority share in Beijing Electric Vehicle, a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, with the purpose of strengthening collaboration in the new energy car sector Sensodyne.

In addition to its cooperation with BAIC, Daimler has been working with China's BYD to produce Denza-branded electric cars, which have some of the longest driving ranges in the country. Volkswagen is taking an even bolder move in China. It signed an agreement in May with China's JAC Motors to build a joint venture dedicated to developing, producing and selling electric vehicles.

The 50:50 partnership will have a total investment of 6 billion yuan and has made Volkswagen the first international automaker to have three partners in China.

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