By on August 23, 2011

Someone call Homeland Security: Large segments of Americans (if we still can call them that) are willing  to spend hard-earned dollars on (are you ready for that?) CHINESE cars. Market research company GfK Automotive’s did its annual Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery, and found that a whopping 38 percent of the respondents would consider buying a Chinese car. Indian cars? A little less, but 30 percent ain’t nothing. That’s amongst all respondents. Once you get to Gen Y consumers, you’ll see wholesale desertion to the enemy.

Says the study:

“The openness to purchasing a Chinese and Indian vehicle is highest among Gen Y consumers, with 52 percent saying they are open to a vehicle from a Chinese automaker and 41 percent saying they are open to a vehicle from an Indian automaker.”

Imagine that. The cars aren’t even on U.S. shores, and especially basement dwellers are ready to buy them – even worse, with dad’s money.

India’s Economic Times (tip’o’the keyboard to Chinacartimes) of course gets it all wrong and writes that “the majority of American consumers are not open to buying a car from a Chinese or Indian manufacturer.” If 38 percent of all respondents and more than half of the Harry Potter Generation already are ready to abandon our hard fought freedom to buy American, Japanese, German and the occasional Korean cars, and cross lines to products of the vehicular dens of iniquity, then things are going down the drain, fast.

Said Don DeVeaux, managing director, GfK Automotive:

“When a relatively unknown auto brand enters the market, potential buyers are going to have some initial scepticism without a frame of reference into the company’s history and differentiators from other brands. Quality and repair support are critical factors that potential buyers evaluate before purchasing a new vehicle, and without an established history in the United States, Chinese and Indian manufacturers need to overcome the lack of knowledge of their brands among potential new buyers.”

But once they have their nose under the tent … Where is Glenn Beck when we need him?

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42 Comments on “Scandal: Half Of Our Young Ready To Drive Chinese...”


  • avatar

    What’s so funny is that Chinese people don’t want to purchase Chinese made cars because they already know that their products are GARBAGE.

    My Shang Hai resident girlfriend was telling me about how she’s AFRAID to even walk down some streets cause glass panes literally fall out of the windows of buildings and injure people. When I lived there, I literally saw buildings and cars decaying and falling apart.

    If not for the ridiculous trade inequality, more Chinese buyers would buy American branded cars. God forbid those pieces of junk make it to American soil cause the kids of today DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER and will buy anything they can afford. Thing is, since our kid’s jobs have been outsourced, they won’t even have the money to drive cars in the $40,000 plus range.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      “What’s so funny is that Chinese people don’t want to purchase Chinese made cars because they already know that their products are GARBAGE.”

      Replace “Chinese” with “American” in the above statement and it would still echo the sentiment of a large number of Americans.

      Not saying it’s true, but perception precedes reality.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        A very large number of Americans refuse to buy an American brand because they owned them in the past and choose no longer to do so again.

        People who had a bad experience with American brands chose to buy something else. People who had great experiences with American brands continue to buy American brands.

        Been that way since the first wheel was sold in the days of the caveman.

      • 0 avatar
        wallstreet

        I’m always curious if this sort of statement also apply to Japanese & German. WIll someone shine the light?

    • 0 avatar

      I meant to warn you about that Shanghai girlfriend. Even amongst Chinese girls, Shanghai girls get a bad rap.

      According to Chinese lore, husbands of Shanghai women end up “carrying the woman’s handbag and washing their panties.”

      Of course, the handbag is a Gucci or Prada (original, the fakes are for tourists) and the panties are original D&G.

      • 0 avatar
        wallstreet

        Bertel, I’m glad that you are awake.

        I’m curious if this sort of statement also apply to Japanese & German:

        “What’s so funny is that Chinese people don’t want to purchase Chinese made cars because they already know that their products are GARBAGE.”

        Does majority of the Japanese & German embrace or reject their national products?

      • 0 avatar

        First of all, the statement that “Chinese people don’t want to purchase Chinese made cars because they already know that their products are GARBAGE” is utterly wrong.

        In 2010, 18,270,000 automobiles were made in China. 544,900 of those were exported. 650,000 were imported. Meaning:

        96.46 percent of the cars sold in China in 2010 were “Chinese made.”

        “But they are all American Buicks and Chevys” do I hear.
        Balderdash.

        A third of the cars sold in China this year were Chinese brands, despite the hard time they have. The Chery and Geelys of China are fighting with the big state owned enterprises which all do JV cars. The share of “Chinese brands” is climbing.

        The majority of Chinese drive Chinese cars.
        The majority of Japanese drive Japanese cars.
        The majority of Koreans drive Korean cars.
        The majority of Germans drive German cars (incl Opel and Ford …)
        The majority of Americans drive (North)american cars.

        Not because of nationalism. Because it makes sense. Because they are there. More plentiful. More dealers. Better service. Ready parts.

        During the heydays of cash for clunkers, Germans bought Dacias and Ladas because it made sense.

        Vehicular nationalism is overrated.

      • 0 avatar

        I have never carried her bag. However, I have washed her panties along with my clothes. I usually use Tide.

        OH, and she was born in Shan Dong.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I have no desire for a Chinese car. Chinese car parts are widely available as it is, and no one with a working brain should want those installed in a daily driver. I’d rather pay a bit more and get a car that will last at least 5 years and not kill me if a critical part fails because of low quality.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    We’ve raised a generation of idiots who have no idea how to make a buying decision in their own, and their country’s, economic self-interest.

    Sad.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    seems like a good deal.
    we dont want our cars, they do.
    they dont want their cars, we will.

    lets trade!

    ps: korea, japan, mexico, germany, england, italy, slovakia, sweeden. Few cars sold here are made here anyway, so who cares? Bring them on.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    You mean those crazy kids dig a Buick?

    *ducking*

    The above post was snark, for those too obtuse to get it.

  • avatar
    TheOtherLew

    Let’s not get carried away by “market research” that, like any polling, is heavily dependent on the way the questions are worded. It’s a long way from “being open to” or being willing to consider” making a purchase to actually putting down real money for the purchase.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    As an ‘early’ Gen Y’er (1982 vintage) I concur that a majority of my Gen Y brethren are basement dwelling spongers who know absolutely nothing about cars. They buy whatever is trendy and whatever is cheap, or whatever happens to be recommended by their favorite website of the week. I feel sorry for some of my co-workers. Several of them are in their late 50′s and early 60′s, but whose children – who are my age – still live at home, in the basement, doing nothing but soak up their parents income. In Britain they were nicknamed ‘Kids In Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings’ or Kippers.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      I have little sympathy for the plight of Boomers who are stuck with the results of their lax, over-indulgent parenting. And though the following post by sfbiker is dead on about the results of transferring the cost of college from the public to the students, resulting in real financial difficulties for Gen X/Y/Z, if their children had been inculcated while young with a sense of thrift and the ability to discern true value, their kids would have achieved greater independence.

      • 0 avatar
        forraymond

        yeah! and GET OFF MY LAWN you hoodlems

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        Perhaps… I can’t honestly say I am much good with money, or that I know ‘true’ value, and I didn’t have much of a good role model in my parents in that regard (I love them dearly though). But I did spend enough time with my Grandparents – who grew up in the 1920′s and 30′s – to realize that in the grand scheme of things, my generation and my parents generation have been living in one helluva cushy period of time. My Grandparents grew up without shoes, or full bellies, or even a decent bed to sleep on. It made me realize that nothing in this world is guaranteed – and that if you lose your income, you must do whatever it takes to keep a roof over your head or food on your table.
        55+ hour a week manual labor jobs at night on low pay when you’re a heavily indebted university graduate? Yup, been there.

  • avatar
    sfbiker

    Generations Y and Z (for lack of better terms) are graduating with much higher student loan debt than previous generations, because we keep demanding tax cuts and spending money on entitlements for old folks. Moreover, wages for entry level jobs have stagnated for more than a decade. The result? Overworked, underpaid, over-extended young people are forced to shop at Wal-Mart and Target where everything they buy is made in China. The desire to buy a new car is there, but the budget won’t support it. When your salary is $40k, taxes take 15-20%, rent takes another 30%, and student loan payments take another 30%, a car payment means no money for anything else at all. The only option is to find a cheaper car, and it better be cheaper than anything else on the market.

    Enter China, Stage Left.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’d consider buying a Volvo made in China by Geely. Chinese companies are capable of manufacturing products of acceptable quality when they know someone will be inspecting their work. Worked with the Taiwanese electronic contract manufacturer Foxconn and ended up being impressed with the quality of their work from their factories in China.

    May be wrong, but my impression is that the Japanese and Korean workers are internally motivated to produce some level of quality. They want to prove that their country and their brand can compete in the big leagues. In contrast, I got the impression that the Chinese were content to build unbranded products of dubious quality so long as it’s profitable and external pressure is required to prevent corner cutting.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      When the VW Beetle first hit our shores people scoffed at them, calling them inferior. They did pretty well and VW made a lot of money selling them in America and elsewhere.

      Next came the ‘inferior’ little rice grinders in the form of Datsun, Toyota, Daihatsu, et all. And we all know how that turned out.

      They pushed the Big Three into oblivion to where the remaining two American car makers, Ford and GM, now cater to only their own fan base (large as it may be, but insufficient for Ford and GM to stand on their own merits).

      If I were to need a vehicle of a certain class or size, I would look at everything that is out there, no matter where it is made, and then buy what gives me the best value and the most for my money. Continue to give Americans choice and they will decide for themselves what sells, and what doesn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        Ford I think is an exception, they have created successful global products in the past, some of which do find their way here (Focus, Transit) and some which are exported abroad as is (Panther, Explorer, F-150).

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Don’t sweat it , Ladies and Gents.

    Let these worthless new generations to find it themselves. When they spend their 15 large on that junk and will spend another 15 more for repairs, they will learn. I am glad that I am not going to see what it is gonna be like in the “new” America.

    • 0 avatar
      pennintj

      I’ve been working on Chinese vehicles for the past four years running, and do you know what I’ve learned? Americans don’t learn.

      If it’s the cheapest thing on the market, and the advertising “says” it will do the same job as a $20,000 car, they’ll buy it.

      And if it looks like the Geely GE (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tag/geely-ge/) it will go over amazingly well with the “Big Rims/Big Stereo” crowd, no matter how garbage it is.

    • 0 avatar
      pennintj

      I’ve been working on Chinese vehicles for the past four years running, and do you know what I’ve learned? Americans don’t learn.

      If it’s the cheapest thing on the market, and the advertising “says” it will do the same job as a $20,000 car, they’ll buy it.

      And if it looks like the Geely GE (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/grand-theft-auto-even-the-ripoff-report-is-a-ripoff/) it will go over amazingly well with the “Big Rims/Big Stereo” crowd, no matter how garbage it is.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Please, bring the Great Wall DEER Pickup (1990′s tacoma toyota clone). but can i get it slightly wider to fit my american sized girth? Oh, and open a small channel to harbor freight and northern tools to swap out the engine/trans with minimal effort. OK, now U.S. Government buy hundreds of thousands of them to supply the (new) CCC and the New Deal 2.0 to bring the United States back to its former glory.

  • avatar
    threeer

    They didn’t call me. I’ll have to pass. While it is true that the entry of German, Japanese and Korean cars can be (somewhat) paralleled by what the Chinese hope to do here, their are huge political, social, economic and militaristic differences between those countries and China. I’d rather not continue the funding of a country that in all likelihood will turn out to be our next adversary on the world’s stage. It’s already bad enough when you go to any store and 9 out of 10 (if not 10 out of 10) items are Chinese-produced (and I make an effort to look for alternatives, which is sometimes damn-near impossible to do). But then, we have only ourselves to blame, as we’ve voted with our (their??) dollars. I wanted to add Volvo to a short list of cars for my mother to consider, but can’t seem to bring myself to do so now.

    • 0 avatar
      sfbiker

      I tend to think that our co-mingled economies will prevent a war between the US and China, rather than create one. A war between China and America would damage both countries so horribly — and not just in military ways, either — that there is nothing to be gained politically on either side by doing so. Think about it: China’s economy is an export-based economy. War between the US and China would mean that China would lose its largest customer, and American naval power can bottle up China’s ports sufficiently to keep it from finding other markets in Europe. Moreover, the US could simply refuse to honor China’s Treasury notes, the paper they received in exchange for funding our governmental debts. While it would hurt the US to do so, it would take a couple trillion dollars’ worth of cash out of China’s pockets in the process, and the US would have the political cover with its’ traditional allies in Europe to explain “well, of course our credit is still good, but we’re at war with China. We’re not going to pay our enemies what we owe them just so they can make war on us. We’re freezing and seizing their assets in America, including this.” So China has incentive not to antagonize us too badly. By the same token, the US does not want to antagonize China, because they can simply start dumping those Treasury notes on the market, and refuse to fund any more US debt, which would cause a market meltdown in America, and severely cripple our ability to make war.

      So. China makes money by selling us stuff, and our government gets money back from China by selling them debt. US taxpayers get tax cuts and big government programs and two wars. George W. Bush started that process with his first term tax cuts, and Obama has accelerated it with “stimulus” spending. But the likelihood of war between the US and China grows dimmer every year because of it.

      Countries whose economies are intertwined have a stronger incentive to negotiate openly and to trade freely for resources rather than to make war against each other.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Kind of like mutually assured destruction, but on an economic scale? You’re probably right…and I’ll probably still pass on a Chinese car…

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        You make some very interesting points sir, but I think behind the scenes the Chinese long term goal is economic and military superpower status. How they accomplish this remains to be seen, but even if the sabers are not openly rattling, do not discount their ability to fight a more covert style war, similar to the Soviets during the Cold War.

      • 0 avatar
        sfbiker

        My point is that China could achieve almost nothing in a war against America that they couldn’t achieve through trade and negotiation, and would, in fact, jeopardize their position in doing so. The Soviets didn’t compete with us economically — if they had, they would have been capitalists, and we wouldn’t have had a problem with them. The Soviets believed that the only way to secure their borders and to open up new sources of raw materials, was to conquer their neighbors militarily and to overthrow 3rd world countries c/overtly. The Chinese have learned from us that you need not own a country to get what you need from it. Dollars (or yen, or yuan) speak as loudly as bombs, and are easier to use. They have invested massively in Africa and are starting to do so in South America. The only thing they need that they can’t get peacefully is land, which might lead them to look toward Siberia. But even then, they might just buy it from Russia, or start exporting workers to foreign countries, peacefully alleviating their need for space.

        I’ll probably pass on a Chinese car, too, but remember: the first Japanese cars weren’t all that good either, yet people bought them. The first Honda, and the first Subaru, and the first Toyota were designed for Japanese city roads — tiny engines, unable to handle American freeways and distances. But they learned, and by the 80′s they were fantastic. The first Korean cars were awful, but Hyundai has learned to make cars at the same quality level as the Japanese.

  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    would consider

    Key words. Between being saturated with made in China products (from simple paring knives to Apple laptops) and attempting to be open minded and PC, they are willing to consider Chinese cars. Unless the Chinese bring cars over that are the same or similar caliber as what the other automakers are offering, I don’t really see that many takers – unless they are stupidly, ridiculously, irrationally cheap. After all, people bought Yugo’s. But it’s not really a path to building a long term customer base.

  • avatar
    pennintj

    How many years did Hyundai sell the Excel? How long was Daewoo around?

    The problem(s) will be with the US-based distributor, not so much with the factory.

    We already get a *huge* number of Chinese vehicles in the American market, and many manufacturers have moved/are moving their vehicle production to Chinese factories as both a cost-saving measure & because of the emergence of the Chinese purchasing “middle” (sic) class.

    Harley Davidson, Piaggio/Vespa, Honda, etc. all already have product manufactured for export for the United States as well as other Western countries. While they have a slightly higher failure rate, so long as you have stringent Quality Control at the factory (I can’t stress that enough)

    For example: you can barely tell the difference between a Taiwan-manufactured Vespa GT and a Chinese one. (wait, I’m sorry, did you think Vespa was made in Italy?)

    However, once you get to the “no-name” bike distributors here in the states, the quality turns to crap *primarily* because they’re spec’ing the cheapest product from the factory that they can get away with without being sued out of existence.

    I can cite examples, but just search “Chinese Scooter” or “Chinese Motorcycle”

    • 0 avatar
      DubTee1480

      But can a Chinese owned firm bring over a Chinese engineered and spec’d auto and sell it successfully? These are all foreign engineered and spec’d parts made by Chinese factories. It’s no secret that many auto parts are made in China, their problem seems to lie in being able to bring a part to market from start to finish.

      It will be interesting to see how it plays out…

      • 0 avatar
        pennintj

        No, and that’s not how (I’ve seen) the Chinese operate either, at least in the Two-wheeled market.

        What they’ll do is offer a product for sale that *meets* (not really) DOT, NHTSA, EPA, and CAFE standards, all the things that are necessary for “legal” (sic) import into the United States.

        More than likely the first US-Legal cars will be reverse-engineered -or- manufactured beside another car (Volvo-Geely for example) at the same factory.

        They’ll more than likely offer the car to an interested distributor (Malcolm Bricklin Line One, Malcolm Bricklin) under either the Chinese name, or “badge engineer” the car for the interested party. Then once that crack has opens, you’ll see a flood of copycats flowing in.

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    The moment our generation’s ignorance overpowers its sense.. mark it down I suspect this is where our country jumps the shark.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Time to bring back the House Un-American Activities Committee?

  • avatar
    eldard

    My faith in American children is restored. USA might not die after all.

    But if they decide to desire Birch 3 vehicles, I shall wish them ill again…

  • avatar
    JMII

    Kids these days are used to stuff made in China that is actually decent. Apple’s hardware is made in China and guess what… its built very well. As mentioned by a few others: its all about the specifications and tolerances of the manufacturing process and the quality control of the parts.

    Those of us with more experience know better then to accept the first few rounds of Chinese cars, but after awhile they’ll be fine I bet. Just look at Hyundai, complete 180 from their original US offerings.

    All this reminds me of that line from Back To The Future where Doc is shocked that at the inferior Japanese parts on the Deloran time machine, only to have Marty tell him “the best stuff comes from Japan”. Two generations ago the Japanese & Germans were considered the enemy and were NEVER to be trusted… now we hold their products (electronics and cars respectively) as the best in the world. So I assume the same thing will happen with Chinese products within 10-15 years.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    It’s likely that the first Chinese car you or your children will buy here in America will be a Chevy.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    If Chinese brands started selling cars here this week, I wouldn’t consider one, but it doesn’t have anything to do with them being Chinese. They just need to be proven. Hyundai paid their dues, and any new entries to the market will have to as well.


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