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How will Detroit welcome the 5 Chinese Auto Makers coming to the 2008 NAIAS?

Posted in Auto Show, General by will bee | October 7th, 2007 | 2 Responses |

Chinese Auto Manufacturer

American, European and other Asian Auto Manufacturers have all been fighting to gain a foothold in the burgeoning Chinese auto market for years. While some brands have struggled in their own countries, such as Buick, they have found a receptive market built upon an old reputation. Now it is the Chinese who are looking to expand their horizons and find new markets. The Japanese have done it. The Koreans have done it. So why would one of the worlds largest manufacturing nations not want to do it? China makes what seems to be the majority of everything else we buy, so why should they not make out cars too?

It seems all other American corporations have outsourced a large chunk of our labor over to foreign countries such as India and China, so why have our American Auto makers not beat China to the punch and outsourced our auto manufacturing to the Chinese? You see how well they make our toys. So what is the delay? If our Big 3 had outsourced their production to China then maybe the Chinese would not have felt the need to start their own auto companies. But noo… too late now.

Five Chinese auto manufacturers are headed to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this coming January to test the American market place for their cars. While the cars being shown are not scheduled to be released in the U.S. it is a means of gauging their readiness for the American buyer. While this is not the first time Chinese Manufacturers have displayed their cars at the NAIAS, the five companies in attendence will be the most that have had displays at one time.

It has been shown in some testing that many, if not most, of the Chinese cars are not ready for the safety tests all major American cars go through. The Chinese cars that have been tested have performed between Poor and “Your Gonna Die” (okay, that is MY rating scale… not the IIHS’s). So will the cars being displayed at the NAIAS be able to overcome the risky reputation that many of us have already labeled them with? The Chinese will make strides in their safety standards and will do so quite possibly through alliances with some American auto manufacturers. The Japanese and Korean companies that came to the US also had quality and design concerns when they first entered the US Market. They seem to be doing pretty well now it seems since Toyota is now the number 1 seller in the US.

So are you ready for Chinese cars? Is this the NAIAS’s way of replacing Porsche who has withdrawn from having a display at the auto show? How long will it be before we view Chinese Auto Manufacturers as we do their Asian counterparts? We want to know what you think so leave us your comments.


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2 Responses

  1. Locke says:

    I think that while the Chinese have been a manufacturing nation for years, their products aren’t held to the same strict requirements as in the US because with their societal norms, I doubt there is such a public uproar when something dangerous is brought to light. With realization that these things are hugely important to American buyers, they will be forced to operate with strict guidelines for safety and may have a hard time offering their new lines overseas at a price point that will make us willing to buy into new Chinese vehicles.

  2. will bee says:

    Thanks for the comment Locke.
    You are absolutely right in reference to the safety standards, or lack there of, for most Chinese goods. The one thing China has on its side is a cheap labor force.
    It could take China 5 years to reach our safety standards (which continue to be a moving target) and another 5-10 years before they shake the reputation they have already acquired as an unsafe car. However, I would not bet against China’s ability to build anything cheaply. Their greatest resource is their cheap labor.
    China’s second greatest resource seems to be our willingness to pay for the goods they have built ever so cheaply. China has billions in US Dollars just waiting to find the right investment/purchase.