By on January 7, 2014

BYD Qin

Backed by Warren Buffet and his investment company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.,Automotive News is reporting that Chinese automaker BYD plans to deliver four models to the United States in late 2015.

This move comes after BYD founder and chair Wang Chauanfu spent the past three years reorganizing his company, cutting the number of dealerships under the automaker’s banner while narrowing losses with their solar business with help from state incentives.

In turn, investors rewarded the changes with a 63 percent surge in the share price — currently holding around $5 USD — though nowhere near the peak of $11 BYD saw in October 2008; Berkshire Hathaway paid around $1 per share for 9.9 percent ownership of the company back in that year.

Though BYD has yet to bring over any of their cars to the U.S., they will begin manufacturing of their K9 electric bus in March at its factory in Lancaster, Calif.; a plan to sell the e6 electric hatchback by the end of 2010 was postponed.

Leading the charge will be the Qin (pronounced Chin) plug-in hybrid, which already arrived in local market showrooms last month. The $31,400 (before state subsidies) sedan books it from nil to 60 in under 6 seconds, and possesses a 43-mile range in electric-only travel.

That said, the Qin, along with its electric brethren, may be a better sell in Los Angeles than in Beijing, as high prices, safety concerns, and a lack of supporting infrastructure have held back China’s goal of 5 million alternative-energy vehicles by 2020.

However, the state government unveiled a new program last September which is supposed to alleviate the issue through heavy promotion of new-energy vehicles in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou using subsidies through 2015, which should help BYD in local adoption of their plug-in and EV offerings.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

89 Comments on “BYD Coming to America in 2015...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Won’t find one of them in my driveway. I think the $300 Billion+ in excess trade we’ve sent them last year alone is enough, thanks. But I’m sure most Americans won’t care either way…

    • 0 avatar

      Darn those Americans–buying all that stuff from Chinese companies like Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Black & Decker, Land’s End. The vast majority of Chinese higher-value exports (let’s not count plastic Christmas ornaments and other stuff found in dollar stores) are assembly work for foreign multinationals, including plenty of American ones. Chinese autoparts mean Ford makes more money selling you a Fusion when you buy one in the States. Of course, it means fewer Americans employed but Ford stays competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        As I said, we all have our choices to make. Consumer demand will ultimately decide the success (or failure) of this. Without rabid consumer demand for all of the goodies you mentioned above, companies most likely wouldn’t have rushed to China to make them. I realize it’s a tad more complex than that, but in the end, Americans chose to send their own jobs away. Of course, we could also choose to have them (or at least a noticeable percentage) return to the US if we demanded it. Some industry is reshoring, but it’s a trickle. Ten years ago, nearly 50% of our clothing still came from America. Now, it’s 2%. I’m one of the few that will pay a little extra to order online from American producers, but I also realize that I am most likely in the minority.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        This is true. As far as Chinese assembly goes, it does indeed span from shoddy, two-bit, dollar-store wares all the way to world-class Apple products with exacting standards. The Chinese factories building foreign products are doing exactly as they are told, so don’t blame it on them when your off-brand MP3 player gives up the ghost after only a month. However, modern Chinese product development and engineering is still a bit new, so I can’t say that I’m not a bit concerned by Chinese vehicles in the States…

        • 0 avatar
          Stumpaster

          “The Chinese factories building foreign products are doing exactly as they are told”

          That’s rather naive. Ponder this – how many hands touch an Apple product through its manufacturing process? I bet not too many.

          Cars? Hello no! Not even a Volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        krayzie

        I thought I read the other day that Chinese car parts manufacturers are moving into Detroit.

    • 0 avatar

      FACT: America actually keeps 2/3 of what we spend in America.
      FACT: Even if the Chinese do hoard US dollars, there is nowhere to spend them that doesn’t send the money right back to America.

      You’ll NEVER see a Chinese car in my driveway either. In fact, I can’t wait to catch one of these on my roads so I can show them what SRT stands for…

      • 0 avatar
        krayzie

        But are you sure your SRT doesn’t already have a boat load Chinese made parts installed?

        The last time I was at the VW parts counter to buy parts for the GTI, I was amazed at how many replaceable parts now are Made in China where they were Made in Germany or elsewhere in Europe a few years ago.

        Even the newer Audi rims are Made in China when we flipped them over to examine the back of the spokes.

        The Chinese is actually hoarding Gold these days not Fed Reserve Notes.

      • 0 avatar
        Menar Fromarz

        I do agree its all about choice. A choice if I want to consider a Chinese made car, or any other item, as it is their choice to enter the NA market. Which, BTW, I don’t get…is their domestic so satisfied that they need to look to other locales for growth…or rather is it with the knowledge that the saturation curve of their home market will come at about the same point as acceptance and sales growth here down the road? Dunno, but I guess things do change…although I am not that old, I clearly remember a time when the only Chinese items we had here were cheap firecrackers and Mandarin oranges, so I guess anything is fair game…maybe they should brand it as the ” Warren” or the “Berkshire” to get a faster cred ramp up..

      • 0 avatar
        Stumpaster

        What does it stand for? Sad Radical Truckreviewer?

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    F*ck you, Warren.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      So it’s ok if the chinese buy american cars, but if chinese companies want to sell cars in the US it’s somehow wrong? I don’t get that.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Not *wrong* but given the huge trade imbalance and the fact that if an American car company wants to sell a car in China they either need to:

        a) face 25% tariff right up front
        b) be owned by a Chinese company
        c) enter into a JV where the majority control goes to the Chinese
        d) simply have their know-how stolen to begin with

        And given that I am very pro-American (and won’t apologize for that), I’d rather see the guy in Birmingham at work than ten guys in Beijing. If trade was actually based on open and fair markets, I’d maybe (though I doubt it) feel differently. 40,000 facilities and 2,000,000 jobs lost attributable to China in the last 10 years alone.

        We all have choices. I chose to minimize how much of my money goes overseas. I read labels. And while some purchases/goods are simply not available (for now) that are made in America, vehicles are certainly a large-ticket item that I can decide on where I spend my money. And China is far, far, far down the list for me.

        In the end, many Americans simply won’t care either way and sooner or later, Chinese cars will find their way onto the streets of America. I’m simply saying that I won’t be one to buy any of them. Others are free to do so, if they desire.

        • 0 avatar
          LALoser

          Tresmonos & Threeer: +100.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “a) face 25% tariff right up front
          b) be owned by a Chinese company
          c) enter into a JV where the majority control goes to the Chinese
          d) simply have their know-how stolen to begin with”

          I think this is my real problem with the whole thing. “Chicken tax” aside, we basically throw our doors wide open for countries the world around to sell their stuff or set up shop here. But when another country puts those kinds of onerous demands on US companies, we just say “well, ok then.” When “free trade” isn’t free in both directions…

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          Foreign manufacturers jump through just as many crazy hoops to manufacture here they can’t just ship in tons of cheap vehicles, otherwise why do you think toyota/hyundai/etc all have factories here?! The anti-trade crowd are complete fools, it’s better for all involved if GM can ship to China with less barriers and if ByD can ship here with less barriers. The complete lack of grasp of economics is ridiculous here.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        We’re just relocating high paying jobs so our 401(k)’s increase in value and f*ck our kids. See: textile industry. Don’t worry, the low paying jobs will eventually come back, just under different engineering / management nationality. See: Zhu Shanqing.

        Keep buying your cheap walmart sh1t, prole. Your unemployed kids with art history degrees will look good sweating in a mill / tier 3 auto plant.

        FWIW everything I’m wearing today was spooled, carded, cut and sewn in the states so GFY.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I have the most trouble finding American made socks in my size. I’m sure Wigwam makes some though. Khakis, shirts, suits, shoes, etc are relatively easy to find with the internet. Dress socks just seem to be a PITA to find American made.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Nordstrom’s rack had a whole slew of them. I’m not sure if they were mislabeled as they were plaid and argyle. I stocked up. I think they were English Laundry branded…

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          Being stationed in Saudi Arabia, it’s a tad harder to buy American-made goods…but I order most of my stuff online now from companies like All-American Clothing and such. Slowly, my wardrobe is shifting to American-made. Do I pay a little more? Probably. And I’m okay with that. It enrages me that our own military exchange here on post sells a ton of Chinese goods. Seems to me that my paycheck comes from the American taxpayer, not the Chinese…and we should be as supportive of them (the American worker) as they are of the military. As I’ve said, while it is a three-stooled issue, bottom line is that ultimately, consumer demand will drive our market. Americans will either want American-made goods, or they won’t. Consequences be damned. Granted, our government and industry play a role in this, but it comes down to what the consumer feels is a priority. It’s a choice…and I continually push to make sure my choice is American. I have my (very personal) reasons…

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Wow, and here I thought Warren was getting soft in his old age when he spoke out in favor raising tax rates for the rich. I wonder how long he can keep the benevolent billionaire shtick going after this announcement.

  • avatar
    Dr. Doctor

    I’m wondering how well this is going to work out for BYD. I don’t have solid figures but it doesn’t seem like the compliance cars(Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500 EV, Chevy Spark EV, etc.) from the established brands aren’t really selling very well in the Californian market.

    Meanwhile, the Leaf an Smart Electric Drive which are more widely available aren’t exactly flying off the shelves either. I don’t think anyone is going to want to shell out $31k for a car from some unknown Chinese marque.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      For the sheer fact its was assembled by a company who pays people the equivalent of $1.50/hr, it had better be a fire sale price to even generate interest. $31,000 US dollars? Pwwwease. Try $11,000.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Out of curiosity….

        Do you have a clue what percent assembly labor costs are typically in the overall cost of a car?

        • 0 avatar
          WhiskerDaVinci

          Does it matter? He’s right. These cars are going to have to be a lot cheaper to sound even remotely appealing to people.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Do you expect a car assembled in Mexico to cost less than a car assembled in the US/Canada/Europe?

            I wasn’t arguing the cost of the car….but his reason.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Mexico doesn’t have the same stigma as China when it comes to assembly, so no, I wouldn’t. But for me, it’s not where the cars are assembled so much as where they are engineered….and that’s a fact that is universal to all automakers. The fact that the BMW X5 is assembled here in the States does not make it inherently more or less reliable than the 5-Series, which is mostly put together in Germany.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Do you expect a car assembled in Mexico to cost less than a car assembled in the US/Canada/Europe?”

            Yes, it does cost significantly less to manufacture a car in Mexico than the US, Canada or Europe. The average cost to manufacture a car completely in the US is about $2,400, according to the UAW.

            If the same vehicle were completely manufactured in Mexico, where wages are on averave six times less than in the US, the labor cost would be only $400, a difference of $2,000 or about 6.6% of the average vehicle price.

            Reductions in labor cost are a major reason why the overall cost of vehicles, when considering increased content, has not risen linear with inflation.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I do not, but its laughable to pay thirty thousand dollars for an unknown product from an unknown OEM when comparable products are available at similar prices. Whats the incentive?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I agree with you on BYD, but I think your perception of the CA market is mistaken. The compliance cars are limited production, so that’s why you don’t see more of them. The 500 EV isn’t available anywhere but CA – too bad.

      I don’t know what you mean by ‘flying off the shelves’, but the Leaf was the #136 best-selling vehicle in the US last year. At 22k units, it outsold every Scion model, every Porsche model, every Audi model except two, every Volvo model except one, and all Jaguars combined.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Off topic….sort of.

        Can we get a real time report on battery life of an EV in epically cold weather?

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Here’s an interesting report:
          http://news.fleetcarma.com/2013/12/16/nissan-leaf-chevrolet-volt-cold-weather-range-loss-electric-vehicle/

          I’d say my Leaf’s performance is very close to the blue curve in their chart.

          Here in western PA, it’s currently -12 F outside tonight, and today’s average temperature was about 5 F. The car sat outside at the office all day without losing any range. Interestingly, for the first time I noticed that the car accelerated downhill with the cruise control turned on, just like many conventional cars. This was because the battery was too cold to enable regeneration (it protects itself).

          In my short commute today, I drove 18.5 miles round trip and consumed 26 ‘miles’ out of the battery range. Climate control was low in the morning (garage kept), but high for the drive home. For the winter, getting 50-70% of the stated range has been typical. Summer is more like 80-100%.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Thanks.

            Due to a job change, I don’t comment as much as I used to but I’m still a daily reader and have always enjoyed your take as an EV owner/lessee.

            I catch a few of your updates in the comments and think you’re someone (as if I know you) that took a chance on an EV lease with an open mind and am always curious about your experience.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Crap I would have thought Jag was doing better than that.

    • 0 avatar

      I have to agree, this is just plain strange. The Prius Plug-In starts at a hair under $30k, so buying a BYD version for $31k seems dead on arrival. I remember reading a review of the electric BYD saying it was just about the worst car on the road, so I don’t see any reason to pick any BYD-made vehicle over the Toyota, which, whatever its faults, is not the world’s worst car …

      D

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      If Danio’s numbers are right (and they sound reasonable), a car assembled in Mexico has a $2k cost advantage over one assembled in the US.

      What cost advantage would a car assembled in China have over one assembled in Mexico, if any? I have heard that with the rapid wage inflation in China, Chinese wages are now approaching those in Mexico. Plus there are the costs of shipping a large, bulky item from China – and possibly tariffs for a car built outside NAFTA.

      I would think that BYD would need to sell these things at a discount of more than $2k compared to established brands, at least to start. In addition to the stigma of the “Made in China” label, BYD is a completely unknown brand with an unknown dealer and service network.

      And they had better not have *any* quality wobbles to start – people expect a Chinese product to be low cost, low quality, and teething problems at launch will just reinforce that perception. While there are some good quality products coming out of China, they are usually not from Chinese brands – for example, Chinese made Apple products are labeled as “Designed in California by Apple”.

      With marginal players like Suzuki leaving the tough North American market, I can’t really see how this can work out for BYD.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Those numbers assume that the entire car is built and assembled in either country, including engine, stampings, trim etc. for comparison sake. Of course most cars have content from all over the world in them, regardless of their point of assembly.

        Regarding Mexico vs. China, Mexico has a cost advantage over China for assembling US market vehicles as the wages are nearly the same in the two countries, but the cost of bringing the product to market are obviously far less coming from Mexico. Not to mention the Free Trade Agreement.

  • avatar
    WhiskerDaVinci

    I’m not really sure this is going to go well. No one really equates China with quality, and with cars, quality is important enough to scare people off of cars that they perceive as being low quality. Which in the case of Chinese cars, is probably very true. They’ll be horrid little boxes of misery that no one wants to own when they can buy something better.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      Keep telling yourself that. People talke the same 50 years ago when the japanese came, and then again 20 years ago with the koreans.

      • 0 avatar
        IHateCars

        ^This.
        Remember when the Hyundai Pony came out? At the time, it would’ve been laughable to think that the company that produced that POS would be in the position that they are today…but they are.
        Personally, I’m confident in saying that I’ll never buy one, in large part due to the reasons stated by Threer above but I’ll wager this is the beginning of the Chinese car invasion.

        • 0 avatar
          mike1dog

          You say this as if it is somehow inevitable. I remember when British, Italian and French cars were sold here and had terrible reputations, and they could never overcome them, for one reason or another.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            People will only buy expensive junk for so long. If the junk is cheap, there will alwys be the price leader market.

            Is it enough for BYD to make a business case? I’m skeptical, but appears that’ll be the angle they’re going for.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          If Hyundai didn’t commit to building a better car they wouldn’t be here today. Like any other car it may attract a buyer on price, but if the car falls apart in two years and the company doesn’t show some earnest in rectifying the problem, then won’t sell many cars. With the Chinese manufacturing philosophy being “good enough”, I think they have a tough road ahead, if I’m wrong there would still be Yugo

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            That’s true, and it did take those automakers several years and sometimes decades to establish their reputations. It was more acceptable to foist crap cars on consumers in the ’70s and ’80s when a cheap car understandably meant one that wouldn’t last further than its warranty. But today, even the worst cars sold in America aren’t horrible, the government regulates *everything*, and consumers are over-reactive and unforgiving. It’s a tough time to enter the U.S. market, and so if the Chinese want to play, they are going to have to abandon most or all of the cost-cutting practices that they use in their home market…hopefully sooner than later…

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Ford is having a great sales year and they’re building the worst junk currently on the market. You’re greatly overestimating consumers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            @CJinSD, Ford is going to pay for the poor quality/fit/finish – in the future. Cheap (and/or “stylish”) will sell now, but cheap/stylish with a bad reputation will really hurt later. Ford is reaping the benefits of “Quality is job One” from a decade ago, but will reap the whirlwind in a just a few years.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I am convinced the Flex is still of good quality, and didn’t fall down with the others. But maybe that’s just me.

      • 0 avatar
        WhiskerDaVinci

        I still don’t trust Korean cars, nor do I like Toyota anymore. I have a friend who delivers parts for Kia/Hyunda, and you’d be amazed what breaks and how quickly. They also have a knack for failing emissions here in Utah of all places after a couple of years, it’s not uncommon to see three-four year old Korean cars with temp registrations due to failed emissions testing. Korean cars just aren’t as good as people think from what I’ve seen, which is a more inside view of parts and service.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Yeah but the Japanese, Koreans, Germans etc don’t have a police state with thousands of nukes pointed at the US and an all-out cyber warfare blitz aimed at stealing our military and industrial secrets. I’d like to think that’s the reason many Americans would shy away from buying a car from our #1 geopolitical frienemy but perhaps I give them too much credit.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I lived with a Chinese 150cc scooter (Jinan Qingqi) for three years and 10,000 miles. No complaints about the product, it was reliable, did the expected job, and I’d consider another if I wasn’t already sold on that red Honda PCX150 we got sitting in the showroom instead.

      Yeah, a scooter is a lot simpler than a car. But it still did a good job of showing me that the Chinese can build quality transportation. And, as a result, I’m willing to look at a Chinese car when they become available.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        the only experience i have with chinese clone scooters (engines cloned from 80s honda designs)is what id seen in the past at the motorcycle shows back when the gas crunch hit hard the first time, and i wasnt impressed.

        for the money, id have gotten a used or even new zuma 125. The PCX150 looks nice. they used to sell an elite 110 cc for a while, and i DO remember it being made in china or taiwan, to honda standards hopefully. either way, it got discontinued.

        i currently ride a yamaha tmax and have 25k miles on it. in the past ive owned a suzuki burgman and just about every honda scooter made, 80cc and up.

        nice seeing a fellow scooterist here- hope you enjoy the PCX!

  • avatar
    justinx

    As I understand it, underneath all that new sheet metal, Qin is nothing more than BYD’s rip-off of a tenth generation Corolla. I wonder what Warren Buffet’s advise would be to a company that steals intellectual property.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      And that’s not even because they like the design. It’s rather because they did not want to do the engineering work themselves, and so literally have cloned the Corolla…looks and all…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This will fail.

    Any new car brand MUST offer some distinguishing feature, whether it is price, performance, fuel economy, service, value, technology, appearance, reliability, emotion, or utility. Your product/brand has to do something special.

    Lacking these things, a car won’t sell, or worse, an entire brand will fail. Mitsubishi and Suzuki are good examples of this today.

    Tesla has gained a foothold because it checks many boxes for the customer, and in the public’s eye. If BYD is offering “me-too” products, they shouldn’t even bother.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Can’t wait for the CR reviews.

    Regardless, it’ll take two decades of proving themselves in the US market before most Americans will trust them, just like it did for German, Japanese and Korean product.

    And would anyone care to guess what the economic picture 20 years hence in America will be? Hopefully, I’ll be all drugged up in a nice nursing home by them… la la la.. great orange juice, thanks!

  • avatar
    Garak

    Good luck. I wonder what’s the main selling point? Price?

  • avatar
    hreardon

    For BYD to compete successfully they’re going to have to offer something extraordinary that one of the existing brands cannot/does not. Frankly, I don’t think the economies of scale are so good that they’re going to be able to profitably sell this car at enough of a discount compared to the established players to make this a success.

    Part of me thinks that the only selling point would be price, and if that is the case, my question is: at what price discount will they have to sell as compared to a Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Chevy, Ford, etc. to entice buyers?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    In my experience Chines cars are very cheap. Most of the engineering is pinched from the Japanese so reliability is not bad but, as always, you get what you pay for.
    So, your choice, right?

  • avatar
    philadlj

    “0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds?” In a pig’s eye, maybe…

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Lower price pressure in the new automobile market would be most welcome.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    If the parts that they use on their cars are as bad as the ones they export for the aftermarket here, those cars should self destroy in 6 mos or less!

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Are BVDs made in China? I’m seeing a lot of opportunity here for a cross-promotional marketing opportunity. I’ll believe it when the cars finally show up in dealerships. But until then, I ain’t holding my breath.

  • avatar
    kuponoodles

    The Chinese brands will be successful. Quality doesn’t matter as much, when people that would consider the barnd are looking for a transportation tool… I.e. What scion became and what Datsun is trying to do. This is why the chinese have been successful in emerging markets, south america, former eastern bloc, etc. Patriotism, economics and build quality aside, I wouldn’t buy a chinese car first hand. They will probably suffer a of high depreciation. Oh, one more factor for chinese success? They will be able clone allnew innovations with little or no R & D, the pass the cost savings to the bottom line sale price… Dacia dister?

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      I beg to differ: quality matters more now than it ever has, but it means something different today. Today the expectation is that every brand can build a decent car. Period, end of sentence. Key reason why Volkswagen is failing in America? They’re trying to out-Toyota Toyota without the quality/brand equity to back up the appliances they’re selling. If you want a transportation tool you pick up a Honda, Toyota, Hyundai or Kia. They all have good brand equity and they all cover a large spectrum of the marketplace from $12,000 to $60,000.

      The US automakers have gotten their acts together, the Germans are finally conquering their reliability demons and the Koreans and Japanese are duking it out to provide the best appliances we’ve ever had in history.

      Cracking this nut is going to be HARD for any new entrant. I’m not arguing that it cannot be done, but it’s going to be VERY HARD.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Quality doesn’t matter in the hybrid market? Oh, yes, it does.

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskerDaVinci

      Quality is shockingly important to most people. I’ve never heard someone talk about buying a car without mentioning quality as being important. I’ve sold cars, and still do, and I always get asked about quality and reliability.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Folks, the average American consumer has a very short memory.

    Take for example Kia. The company sold some of the execrable vehicles in the marketplace from 1995 thru the mid-2000′s.

    Now? They are considered a credible Toyota alternative.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Steve,

      You’re absolutely correct, but there is a difference today: the market is much more crowded than it was 10 – 15 years ago. Established brands have expanded into just about every niche possible, including the German luxury brands going downmarket and the formerly inexpensive Korean brands moving way up-market.

      Obviously all with varying degrees of success. While Kia was/is a viable alternative to Toyota, I hardly expect Toyota to cede the market – they will adapt and fight back.

      Regardless – your essential point is well taken: there’s always room for a new entrant and given the right marketing, product, financing and allure anyone can make it. Sure won’t be easy, but it can be done.

      Personally, I think they have a substantially tougher fight today than did the Koreans a decade ago.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Steve,
      Kia figured out they could sell a cheap car to someone. Once. Then they woke up and realized they had to get serious about quality for two reasons: 1. to stop being laughingstocks when it came to quality. 2. To sell a customer their second Kia. From what I understand any American/Western Europe anything made in China needs original company reps at the plant to ensure quality control on each and every manufacturing step. Each and every step. Oh, I’ve drank some beers with UAW workers. The Ford Louisville plant doesn’t have suicide nets like they do at Foxconn.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Good luck to them. I think they’re going to have an uphill battle, particularly if the plan is to sell hybrids and electrics – they’ll be going up against some very high quality goods and some very well-educated, picky buyers. The quality had better be impeccable.

    Personally, I think they’d have a better chance selling inexpensive “city” cars – a Smart/Fiat 500 competitor. Start in the large urban markets, establish a reputation for quality, and then expand.

  • avatar
    Bob

    I can’t wait to buy one! Im going to put an American flag sticker and my union sticker in the rear window.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Toyota called. They want there Corolla front end back. BTW these will never ever end up in my driveway. All the other Walmart, Harbor Freight, Lowes and Home Depot lead tainted garbage are doing a good enough job slowly killing me.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    It’s only a matter of time before China off shores to New Jersey.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    One of the 4 P’s of marketing is price, if I recall correctly. What’s the average price of a new car? 27k?

    It’ll be interesting to see how low they can go to introduce a new line of cars.

    Reminds me a bit of sitting in the back of a 1986 Acura Legend.

  • avatar
    Acd

    A few years ago BYD brought some of their cars to the Detroit Auto Show touting their hybrid technology but what stood out the most was the warmed over 1990′s generic Asian design and appallingly poor build quality. If an insurance direct repair shop had painted your car as badly as the rear quarter panel was on one of the cars on the show floor you would have rejected it and forced them to repaint it. Inner fender lips had jagged metal shards; build quality was far worse than a 1980′s LeMans or Tracer. This new batch of cars had better be a heck of a lot better than those for them to have any chance of success.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Whatever else BYD does, it should understand that Chinese phonetics conjure a damming aesthetic stench for most Americans, particularly over-40s.

    “Q” pronounced as “Ch” and primitive ching-chang-chong single syllable words evoke associations of putrid Asian backwardness, overpopulation and insectoid morals that will be a long time evaporating from our culture.

    Bad marketing ju-ju.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    The same arguments now made against BYD were also made against Hyundai and Kia when they entered the US market, and before that the same arguments were made against the Japanese.

    When the VW Beetle made its debut in the US it was sold as a niche novelty car. The lack of quality was blatantly obvious but that didn’t stop Americans from buying them. Ditto with the Japanese cars, and again later with Hyundai and Kia cars.

    The Chinese already sell a car in the US. It’s called VOLVO!

    Let the buyers shake out the market. The more choice, the merrier. Look for Toyota, Honda and Nissan to pay rapt attention, like when the Sonata and Elantra got their undivided attention.

    Hey, choice made things better for the buyers. Choice, my friends. That’s what it is all about.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I was hoping the first Chinese car sold in the US would be something like a retooled Volvo 240 with the AMC I6 for like $19000.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India