Speaking from Shanghai, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland tells Bloomberg that “a number” of Chinese automakers have expressed interest in selling their products in the US, to which the auto safety regulator says:
When they offer their vehicle for sale, we will treat them like we will treat any company whether it is a Detroit company or a Japanese company or a Chinese company.
Strickland identified GM’s partner SAIC as one company that was interested in US sales, although the automaker says it’s waiting until it has “more suitable product” for the market. Chinese auto exports currently make up only 3 percent of production, a number the Chinese government wants to increase to 20 percent by 2012-2015. Separately, SAIC announced this week that it plans to invest some $1.85b into its hybrid, electric and fuel-cell technologies.