Sport-utility vehicles are currently the bright spot in a cooling Chinese auto market, but electric vehicles dominated this year's Beijing auto show. Elsewhere, Future Mobility, Foxconn Technology Group 2354 -2.06 % 's joint venture with Tencent, has hired executives from BMW AG BMW -2.48 % 's i-series electric vehicle development team. LeEco has ties with California-based electric car maker Atieva and startup Faraday Future, and cooperates with state-run auto maker BAIC Motor Corp. 1958 3.48 % Electric vehicles in China are exempt from certain restrictions facing their gasoline-fueled counterparts. Hou Yankun, head of China equity and Asian auto research at UBS, estimates that in 2015 China's central and local governments spent a total of 90 billion yuan, or 14 billion, in the sector, including direct cash subsidies for electric vehicle makers and construction on public charging stations.
Mr. Ghosn said government officials in poorer countries and other emerging markets should decide whether to require car companies to equip vehicles with air bags and other standard safety features. Nissan began offering air bags on certain top-end Datsun vehicles in India last year amid criticism from safety advocates that they lacked the feature. Mr. Ghosn said auto makers' forecasts for 2015 sales weren't high enough. He added forecasts in the U.S. and Europe are once again too cautious amid low gasoline prices and interest rates, while acknowledging car makers do better to prepare for worse results and enjoy good times when they materialize.