By on April 15, 2014

Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Bakkie

Though Toyota already has a presence in South Africa, the automaker is eyeing the last untapped market in the world: The African continent.

Automotive News reports Toyota patriarch Shochiro Toyoda gave his son, current president Akio Toyoda, a mission last year to explore markets outside of the “Asia-Europe-America” sphere, especially those where the younger Toyoda had not visited. His travels took him to a knockdown factory in Kenya, where there are 40 cars per 1,000 people according to IHS Automotive, laying the early groundwork for an all-out campaign to get as much of the final frontier as possible.

Success in the market may have to come in the long term, however; IHS predicts GDP per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa won’t reach the threshold of $3,000, as well as the ownership rate of 70 units per 1,000 people, until 2030 at the earliest. Toyota Africa CEO Johan van Zyl, who is scouting for new factory locations outside of South Africa, knows this reality well:

It’s a growing market, a market with a future. We have quite an ambitious [annual sales] target. But we must also understand, this is not going to happen overnight. We have to put the right things in place. And that is what we are busy doing, to ensure that we have the right foundation for the business in the future in Africa.

In the meantime, the automaker will launch the Quest compact in South Africa next month. The Quest — based upon the previous-gen Corolla — will help boost production towards full capacity at Toyota’s Durban plant; while max capacity is 220,000 annually, current production is 160,000 units per year. Unlike many auto makers, Toyota is not pursuing a new brand or platform for their new, low-cost car.

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213 Comments on “Toyota Looking To Conquer Africa...”


  • avatar
    alsorl

    Toyoda finally found a way to rid of all those recalled gas pedals.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I see all sorts of tan Landruiser pickups here in Saudi…man, do I wish somebody in the US would make a truck like that again…rugged, right-sized and with a truck bed you can actually reach without a stepladder. Yeah, I know…it’ll never happen again. The US consumer has spoken, and small trucks ain’t it anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Small trucks in one thing. Small trucks at Landcruiser prices quite another. Then again, with the Fed and Government hellbent on ensuring the only people who can afford even a toy truck, are their sponsors at Goldman who have been singled out for subsidies so they can afford autoplants; small, expensive and with 3rd world, NatGeo panache may be just the right truck at just the right time.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      +1 threer. Love that pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      They are very very robust , Built to take a lot of punishment unlike the boulevarde cruisers, that are churned out now in the US.

  • avatar
    romismak

    Africa is very interresting region. Basically there are North africa and South Africa with few countries between but potential is so big there.

    North Africa – Algeria – 420thousand, Morocco – 110 thousand, Tunisia – 40t and Egypt some 200t.

    RSA – 650t vehicles

    Between Nigeria-50,Angola-30 and Kenya – 20t

    South Africa has automotive industry, with major global players there, Toyota, VW, GM,Ford, Nissan being biggest

    North africa except Egypt is french dominated, while in Egypt No.1 is Chevrolet, followed by Toyota and Hyundai – which are No.1 and No.2 in many AFR countries.

    Nigeria-Toyota dominating, Angola -Hyundai No.1 brand, Kenya- has own automotive industry with Toyota and GMEA

    Interresting fact is that top 5 global automakers are also top 5 in Africa, Toyota in 2012 reported 237 thousand sales, GM 180t – included their Isuzu branded trucks in Kenya and South Africa – so GM ,,real,, number was lower and they claimed to have 10% market share – that would make Africa in 2012 1.8million market. Hyundai-Kia numbers should be somewhere about Toyota level in 220-240 range. Hyundai is No.2 passenger car brand in Africa after Toyota, but Toyota has whole light truck sector where Hyundai is basically nothing. Chinese and even Indian now exporting cheap cars there

    Nissan reported 110 thousand Africa sales if i remember and Renault just in ALG-Mor-TUN-EGY-RSA had 170-180thousand sales so Renault-Nissan together are biggest player with around 300t sales in AFrica

    VW group had over 100t just in South Africa, now in ALG VW, Seat brands are pretty strong, also VW, Seat, Skoda, Audi brands in other big markets to VW group is probably somewhere around 200t too

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Interesting statistics you came up with. I think the following article by the last TTAC editor Schmitt on Toyota in Africa was enlightening, came out last week:

      http://dailykanban.com/2014/04/03/what-car-market-is-dominated-by-toyota-try-africa/?doing_wp_cron=1397597896.0444240570068359375000

      • 0 avatar

        > I think the following article by the last TTAC editor Schmitt on Toyota in Africa was enlightening

        That looks like a longer version of the Toyota press release summarized here. I’m told this is common for Schmitt.

        Esp. funny:
        “That lesson had been ignored by Chinese automakers who thought that in Africa, they would not have to contend with entrenched opposition, and that those poor people would not mind a little poor quality as long as it is cheap.”

        Poor people are the perfect market for cheap & subpar build quality. Low labor costs imply cheap repairs and low value for time lost.

        It’s a wonder why anyone thought this guy knew anything about cars or the market or anything.

        • 0 avatar
          niky

          Uh… I live in a poor market. Poor buyers would rather buy a secondhand Toyota, no matter how many decades old it is, than a brand new Chinese car.

          Rich (or at least middle class) people don’t mind gambling half the price of a brand new car on a Chinese car, knowing they can afford dealership support. Poorer (lower middle class) people would rather have something they know can be fixed in their backyard, with spare parts available from off the street.

          This is why the Peugeot 508 was popular in Africa. Tough as nails. This is also why the Hilux is so highly regarded in the Middle East… tough as nails, lots of spares.

          Poor people are perfectly willing, however, to gamble on Chinese scooters. And after the first set of those break down in a cloud of blue smoke, none of them, their friends, family, neighbors, or villages, will ever buy that brand again.

          Perfect case study: India: Where the best selling car is still the Suzuki-Maruti Alto. Not because it’s the cheapest (the Nano is), but because it’s got a Japanese engine and is cheap as chips to fix. No locally engineered car comes close.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            I was also going to note the used Japanese car issue, but I see the linked article covers it, already. Surplus cars from Japan are a HUGE headache for low-end manufacturers and entry level models in any market. Thanks to the high cost of motoring in Japan, there are hundreds of thousands of incredibly cheap secondhand Japanese cars circulating the global developing market, just looking for a place to land.

            And this is what poor people buy. Because a ten year old Civic is much more appealing than a brand new Chery QQ.

            Just because people in developing markets don’t have a lot of money, that doesn’t mean they’re dumb.

          • 0 avatar

            > Rich (or at least middle class) people don’t mind gambling half the price of a brand new car on a Chinese car, knowing they can afford dealership support. Poorer (lower middle class) people would rather have something they know can be fixed in their backyard, with spare parts available from off the street.

            Your version of “poor” people can’t afford new cars anyway. There’s no point selling to those who can’t buy. I’m speaking of poor from the perspective of the first world.

            Witness the relative success of Hyundai, even in its early crappy years. Actual “rich” people have no need to take a gamble on a lesser product, and it’s those who wanted a new car (often to avoid newly minted money’s perceived taint of buying second-hand) but can’t afford the good ones who were buying them.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @niky,
            Bulletproof and the ability to take a lot of punishment, unlike today’s “computers on wheels”

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Hyundai is not as big a name outside of developed markets as inside of them.

            Have you seen “cheap” Chinese cars, u mad scientist u? These things are even worse than the Pony and Excel years. Worse for being about as bad as the Pony despite it being nearly four decades later.

            Chinese cars are frowned upon almost everywhere, even in China. They’re quickly losing market share to imports and transplants. Most of their bright spots are from shared technology and platforms, but even in Africa, they’re now facing contention from the Indians, who are looking to expand into other markets, too.

            My version of “poor” people are the middle class and lower middle class outside the United States. These are the people who keep brands like Mitsubishi and Suzuki alive (and thriving) despite how bad things might seem for those brands over there.

            At the lower end, these people have just enough money to finance an under $10k Chinese car. Hell… there are Chinese cars going for around $7k or less. But they’d rather buy secondhand Toyotas (again) than a brand new Chinese. Or an Nano. These people see cars as an aspirational purchase. A sign that they’ve “made it” and no longer have to put up with riding around on $2k scooters.

            A Suzuki, even an Alto, is somewhat aspirational. And tough as nails. A Tata Nano (Indian) or a Geely LC (Chinese), is not. That the Alto is several generations out of date and is similarly built in India matters little. It’s perception that counts. In this way, new lower income buyers are even more hidebound and conservative than buyers in developed markets.

            In our country, right before the last free port was banned from trading in Japanese surplus, secondhand imports from Japan made up a fifth of all “new” cars bought.

            Before the total ban that closed down other freeports was handed down, Japanese secondhand imports EXCEEDED new car sales.

            And this is in a left-hand drive country.

            The situation in Africa is probably much the same as it used to be here. Before new car sales can make any headway, they have to either clamp down on secondhand Japanese imports (an anti-free trade move I am against) or tax them commensurately and ensure that they pass roadworthiness tests.

            Bertel may have had a lot of issues, but he knows something about the global market and the challenges new car makers are facing out there. Saying that he doesn’t know anything because of a misconception you have regarding the market outside your purview is a little misguided.

          • 0 avatar

            niky, importing secondhand Japanese cars is hurtful to the economy. I’m glad it’s prohibited in most countries that give themselves some respect.

            Luckily, in spite of cutting the competition in price here, Chinese cars have generally not been very well accepted here.

            As to Hyundai I guess it depends on the country. They’re quite big in Asia it seems, but not really that much in South America, at least in the countries that have “local” makes.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Most countries lack the scale that is needed to prop up a local auto industry through barriers and tariffs.

            For that approach to possibly work requires a large population that can buy domestic production. So Brazil, India and China can get away with it, while a small country such as New Zealand cannot.

            And countries such as Brazil pay the price for this in other ways. Such rules favor a few workers at the expense of the average consumer; the protections support employment, but they aren’t cheap.

          • 0 avatar

            Pch, I think niky is from the Philippines. I think they have a large enough population to do that, especially in the context of ASEAN. It does cost us in Brazil, but instead of giving jobs to people in Japan, who would of course control the whole process until the secondhand car reached the trash can, I mean the destination country. Having a local industry means you hire engineers, workers, administrators, lawyers, designers. Heck even professors. Fiat recently donated large sums to local universities to develop courses directed at car design and engineering as they thought those pros were not being developed soon enough.

            Those who would be working selling the imported secondhand cars are already working selling the local cars.

            Importing some cars, brand new makes sense in terms of competition and pricing. But secondhand? No way.

          • 0 avatar

            The chinese model of forcing foreign entrants to partner with domestic makers is quite smart. They’re replicating 4-5 generations of difficult iteration relearning expertise in half the time.

            Their main issue is marketing, since consumer impressions of a brand is moving much slower than the brands themselves are improving. That’s why they’re snatching up foreign labels to slap on their products.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I think they have a large enough population to do that”

            With about 100 million, yes, they do. (I didn’t know where he was.)

            “It does cost us in Brazil, but instead of giving jobs to people in Japan…”

            But what ends up happening is that you spend too much on cars, which may divert the money from other uses that could have helped other people.

            The high prices act as a subsidy that helps relatively few people, which also probably hurts others.

            To avoid the Australian problem, there needs to be a concerted effort to develop an export base for those costly cars.

            But since Brazil isn’t doing anything exceptional in the automotive world, that isn’t likely to happen. So eventually, when some other administration dumps the barriers, that business will probably degrade until it implodes, since it is saddled with inefficient infrastructure and no particular advantages.

            This approach may end up working nicely for China. I doubt that it will really help Brazil over the long run, unless there is some other agenda at work here (i.e. keeping car prices high in order to constrain demand, then using the restrictions to keep those high revenues from being exported.)

          • 0 avatar

            Pch, it’s not just jobs, it’s the income it generates, the money that circulates. If these people were not employed by industry, where would they be? They couldn’t all be in agriculture or in the service industry. All these jobs, and yes people in this industry are relatively better off, they are consuming, buying houses, cars etc. Paying taxes. The money is created and stays here.

            As to Brazil not contributing anything, that’s relative. The Sandero was designed here. The S10/Colorado was developed here. There was collaboration between GM Korea and GM Brazil for the 3rd specials developed on the Sonic platfrom. The EcoSport was developed here.

            We are not at the stage where we can contribute much intellectually to the world. The government’s new plan tries to address that in the auto industry allowing imports if tech is developed or applied here. Building, aiding in the development of new cars, designing is enough for us now. We can and do it well.

            Yes an export base will need to be developed. Brazil once exported a lot of cars. Into the US and Western Europe even. I once asked a top exec why we had stopped. He said it was because the companies here didn’t have an interest. The cars they produced fetched much higher prices here than if exported, why bother. If the market continues to soften here, you could see Brazilian cars being exported again quite soon. Especially to our neighbors, but not only. I know for a fact that Fiat is always studying, developing and working on the possibility of exporting into the US.

            All weighed, our model has drawbacks, it’s not forever, but I think is relatively adequate for the moment. Weighing it all out leads to a positive.

            Japan and others can keep their trash. We don’t need it (talking secondhand here of course).

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “it’s the income it generates”

            The reverse is probably true. It isn’t a gain, it’s a loss.

            An example: Let’s suppose that you buy a car for US$5,000 more than it would otherwise cost without barriers.

            If you had taken the US$5,000 and spent it on furniture for your home, then that would have helped the folks at the furniture shop, the delivery operations that got the furniture to the store, the furniture maker, the supplier of the wood, etc. But they’ll not be getting that money from you because you spent it on a car, instead.

            Or you could have taken the $5,000 and put it in the bank, which could have then used it as reserves to fund US$50,000 or more of loans to other people who could have bought a house or supported a business. But they won’t be getting your money because you spent it on the car.

            On the other hand, perhaps you would have spent the US$5,000 on the same car but with more options. In that case, it made no difference financially, since you weren’t going to use the money for anything else, regardless. But you’re still worse off with the barrier, since you should have gotten more car for your money.

            Then again, maybe those autoworkers who were supported by your $5,000 overpayment will buy the furniture or make the bank deposits instead of you. That might be a wash from a macro standpoint — the furniture guy is still happy — but you still lost out as the autoworker used your money to buy furniture that you won’t get to use.

            Overall, it’s not good to have the population overpaying unless there is a desire to have them consume less of the good. For example, the Europeans have pretty sound reasons for taxing the stuffing out of motor fuel — they want people to buy less of it. That taxation may make sense for the environment or trade deficit, but it doesn’t help the consumer as a consumer.

          • 0 avatar

            Can’t disagree with you there. I’m more than likely worse off because of it, while society for sure is much better off because of it.

            Considering your example, if I bought a secondhand car and that extra money went into the hand of the importer, you can bet more of that money would go into the hands of the importer than the salesman. Money would be more concentrated than it is now. Going to the maker, his worker also gets more money than the hypothetical imported car salesman or if he worked in a furniture store making or selling furniture to me.

            Besides, being that making cars is a relatively well paying jobs, he and all the other workers buying furniture more than offsets any money that I would ever spend on furniture. And if I didn’t spend that money, it’d just go to the banker, where it’d sit.

            You and I know that wealth is created by circulating money. If this money is circulating internally in the hands of more people, it all adds up.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There’s no one correct answer to this. “It depends” would probably be most accurate.

            To make the pro-tariff argument, cars are quite costly, so a car import necessarily entails shipping a lot of money outside of an economy. Excessive imports are bad for the stability of the local currency, plus trade deficits have to be offset with debt or asset sales to balance the account.

            None of these choices are free of costs. Truth be told, I’d probably be doing something similar to what Brazil is doing for now, as the economy develops. But I would also not put my long-term bets on the auto industry or rely upon it too heavily; your country would be smart to develop export markets for some kind of value-added goods, which might be manufactured but probably won’t be on wheels.

          • 0 avatar

            You’re right. Don’t forget the societal benefits though. Those gainfully employed are not out robbing and killing. And are less of a burden on the government.

            Anyway, there’s no right answer. As a teacher of mine (welfare and welfare law) so rightfully says, “life is dynamic”. We have to be smart to adapt to the changing circumstance. Manufacturing is a necessary step ahead of our extractivist, low valued added activities that so helped our export balance recently. With the added value of not just leaving holes in the ground (though it could leave rusted out buildings!).

            Anyways, we’re trying. The government and private business associations seem to be aware of the problem. It isn’t terribly big but it does seem that Brazilian design, fashion is growing. Computer software development seems to be growing, even competing with the likes of SAP. Even seems that a lot of gaming tech and stories are developed here. Elections in Brazil are finished in 2 days thanks to our IT. Banking IT is as developed here as anywhere else in the world. Some genetics, biotech.

            We’re trying!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I could argue all sides of it.

            If I were to take a stand, then I would say that it’s good for the developing countries that are large enough to get away with it, just as long as they don’t become complacent.

            It may not be so good for the developed nations, including the ones that can get away with it, because they become inherently uncompetitive in their efforts to prop up an inefficient industry.

            The Germans are fairly sharp when it comes to this aspect of the car industry. Their costs are high, but they find ways to make us happily pay for that markup.

            But not everyone will be able to duplicate that model. The Aussies couldn’t do it, and the BRICs aren’t likely to fare any better.

          • 0 avatar

            Again I agree. I can see both sides. For now, like you, I think that what we’re doing is fairly correct. I just pray that we’ll be smart enough when the time comes to say basta or in our more local, Brazilian Portuguese: Chega!

          • 0 avatar

            > Anyway, there’s no right answer.

            There is technical a right answer.

            The general idea is you want to maximize the productive output of citizens at any given time. Making cars is just one option at a certain level of development.

            Using the Asian rapid-industrialization model to illustrate: they begin with labor-intensive like textiles; then start simple durable goods; then more complex machined items and electronics; and finally the full cycle from marketing/r&d/etc to develop services.

            Notice at any given moment folks are given opportunities to mobilize upwards at the fastest possible rate according to their ability. Every level feeds into the next, and exportable goods are best mostly due to fast possible bootstrapping. Whether auto is part of it is circumstantial; what matters is *something* at that level is available.

            Tariffs and more importantly internal banking services are just tools to facilitate this development. The point of “money” here isn’t optimal allocation at a micro level since the script is already written. Its signaling value is more useful when it’s unclear where to go next.

            There are many social problems associated with this that need secondary mechanisms like redistributive welfare to smooth over, but it clearly works.

          • 0 avatar

            u mad scientist, the problem with Brazil is that despite the pockets of deep, desperate poverty we were always mid level. Up to the early 19th century an argument could be made we were valuable than the US. But then the metals ran out, and we limped along lie the South of the US would have had it not been the industrializing North (we didn’t have anything like the North until the 20th century).

            When we finally started industrializing we did so at a fast pace. We were the country that most grew in the 20th century, second only to Japan until the early 80s. Then the oil crisis killed us, the import substitution model was exhausted, we had the debt crisis.

            At the beginning of the 90s a greater liberalization of the economy again generated fast growth that screeched to a stop with the Asian crisis (when we were again bankrupted, some say twice). The the more hands on approach of the government together with more prudent fiscal and budget procedures produced great results.

            So now we have large sections of the country with general standards similar to those in Portugal or Greece, even southern Italy. Large parts of the north of the country subsist on more African standards (though much greater government presence and assistance).

            What was forgotten in all of this, in stark contrast to Japan and South Korea was education. Some states in Brazil now provide education as good as that in Eastern Europe while many others are at a much lower level. Education though is now universal and the difference in education in the younger generations and their parents is patently obvious.

            That’s why mid level activities like building cars is good for us now and will be for the next decade or even 2.

            Long, long way to go, but the tools to get there are slowly being developed.

          • 0 avatar

            > the import substitution model was exhausted, we had the debt crisis. …that screeched to a stop with the Asian crisis (when we were again bankrupted, some say twice).

            A key factor to success for developing nations is to ignore the idiots at the World Bank/IMF or western econ advisors. Note the asian tigers all banked internally and avoided foreign denominated debt. Trying to “liberalize” through monetary policies and hope for the best is worse than worthless; a very hands-on approach is necessary. To wit:

            > Education though is now universal

            That’s the sort of stuff that matters. Education is basically the ultimate limit to how fast this process can go, and thus should never be denied to anyone who desires it through whatever means necessary. The “free market” crowd can go fu<k themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > No, I want someone making sweeping claims about an incredibly varied industry to be specific what they’re talking about. “American software sure is buggy, lol”.

            I’ve not the time to actually do an inventory, though I know for a fact Foton sold the horrific Blizzard there (based on an outdated Isuzu design. Isuzu-based engines were decently reliable, but body integrity and build quality were rubbish.

            Then there’s the Gonow, which was cited in one of the provided references, if you feel like reading through… though it’s also covered here:

            http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120517/china-africa-cars-autos

            * A South African car reviewer recently showered it with relative praise. “Cheap and not at all nasty,” said the headline. The reviewer noted the usual reputation of Chinese cars in Africa: “rubbish” quality, “appalling” design and a disturbing smell of glue.

            * Chinese automakers must overcome this credibility problem as they ramp up exports and build new assembly plants in Africa, in an attempt to maintain growth despite sluggish car sales back home.

            * Call it the “fong kong” curse — a slang term in South Africa for cheap made-in-China products that fall apart soon after purchase. Zimbabweans similarly call low-quality Chinese products “zhing zhong.”

            Well, of course, it’s another journalist, who’s probably also incorrect, in your eyes, so from the horse’s mouth:

            * GWM SA (Great Wall Motors South Africa) MD Henri Meistre says: “The biggest hurdle that the company is striving to overcome is other Chinese brands.” Quality issues, poor service 
and parts backup have created 
a negative peception of Chinese-manufactured vehicles. Con-
sumers are more willing in good times to take a chance with a lesser known, affordable brand; however, when things get tight, consumers become risk averse and rather buy a second-hand known brand than an unknown, new Chinese model, whose ser-
vice and reliability are unknown. “Until all Chinese brands show their long-term commitment and attain a reputation for reliability, vehicles from China may be tarred with the same brush,” Meistre adds.

            http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/local-vehicle-importer-overcomes-chinese-brand-perceptions-2009-02-20

            > Consider when the Excel started being exported, cars barely existed in china. Connect the dots seems to produce clear trends similar to the manufacture of everything else.

            I have never disputed Chinese cars are getting better. The issue at hand is negative perception issues caused by older Chinese cars and lower quality ones that were exported in the past.

            > Because of the claim that it’s a uniquely worthwhile statement. I guess “it’s the same as it is everywhere else” doesn’t sell.

            So you agree that the original statement is factually correct? Of course, it *isn’t( the same as everywhere else. Again: mature / captured markets are vastly different from developing ones.

            > Again, JV’s producing ostensibly better cars than the locals have been there since the start in china. The start in china was more than a couple years ago.

            The volume in secondhands is still well short of brand new volumes in China. It’s not a mature market (but it is a captured one)

            > I’m saying that shipping car parts (and everything else) from china is the norm around the world and not in any way a hardship.

            There’s a difference between parts for common cars and parts for a new brand. Local suppliers are less likely to stock parts for uncommon cars, which raises costs for the customers.

            Again, from:

            http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120517/china-africa-cars-autos

            *Chinese carmakers also fall short in after-sales care. Customers in Africa complain of a lack of available spare parts.

            This one is a familiar issue to me, as it was one of the factors that spelled the death-knell of the first official foray of Chery into our market. They’re back, rebuilding, but bad reputations are hard to overcome.

            Reality. I’ve presented my evidence, all you’ve presented are generalizations that may or may not apply in vastly different markets and regions. And that’s all there is to it.

        • 0 avatar
          niky

          @Robert Ryan: Yup. Though the best-selling cars in emerging markets nowadays are almost all computer controlled, these are ones using older, proven systems rather than the new-fangled stuff. Another handicap for Chinese penetration. You can offer direct ignition, electric steering and electronic throttles for the same price, but you can’t offer the instant familiarity and huge stock of secondhand parts (which includes junkyard ECUs) that the Japanese do.

          • 0 avatar

            > Geely outsourced work for the Panda to a development specialist inside China that used software verification to create a chassis within a short frame of time, using fewer prototypes than typical

            Auto development usually includes substantial amounts of closed course and real-world testing/verification. If it didn’t matter nobody would do it.

            > Sweeping statements regarding older cars which, from the links I’ve given you, the customers, importers and auto-executives found wanting? Do tell. The context is all there if you’re willing to read just a little bit.

            Again, the same things have all been said for every stage of development in every asian economy ever, yet Foxconn makes the iphone not 10 years after they started rolling in china, and samsung both designs & make the best selling android device after a relative earlier start.

            This is alongside market stalls in Shenzhen where they can mold & smd your own 3rd tier phone in the back.

            > Which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Africa and Chinese cars.

            Africa is not a magically unique market.

            > In other words, can’t refute, might as well take potshots. You questioned the veracity of the original statement, now you’re saying it’s meaningless, even though it’s a concern echoed directly by Chinese auto executives specifically for the African market.

            I originally supposed you were attempting a meaningful statement and thus pointed out why that’s wrong. Now it’s clear you’re just recasting the status quo of doubting the asian tigers as somehow insightful. Consider looking into how those perennial predictions turn out.

            > I’m sorry, they sell six thousand dollar brand new Chinese cars there? And you have lax certification laws that allow the sale of these six thousand dollar cars?

            There’s a difference in price but not in kind between 6k mini-cars and 10k subcompact ones. And yes there are used cars of every price in the US and China.

            > No, that’s because the supply isn’t there yet. And Chinese consumers are perfectly happy buying secondhand foreign cars. A secondhand luxury car is still a luxury car, to status seeking buyers in China.

            Considering JV’s have been operating for 10+ years in china there’s certainly supply but curiously it tends to go to utilitarian services like taxis where status is unimportant.

            New money in china wouldn’t be caught dead in a used santana/elantra.

            > Try six. And why is it not relevant to the African situation if we’re discussing the history of past Chinese forays into the continent?

            It’s about as relevant as discussing the state of the art of chinese phones of 6 years ago.

            > Give the man a cookie for not reading. I’ve driven over a dozen of the major export models of several of the larger car manufacturers over the past several years.

            So you can see the very rapid improvement in far shorter spans (and therefore less affected customers) than the Koreans who went through this same exercise elsewhere not 10-20 years ago, yet can’t figure out where it’s going.

            > I’m not going to bother answering that, as you obviously choose to ignore the fact that I’ve stated repeatedly that the Chinese are improving and may someday achieve parity.

            Is this sort of joke? Look at how long it took the Japanes to achieve parity, how long it took the Koreans to achieve parity, and you seem to be aware of how much faster things are moving in China. Connecting these dot should be relatively easy.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > If it didn’t matter nobody would do it.

            I already said that shortcutting reliability testing wasn’t a great idea. Which is why you cut that part out, I guess.

            > Again, the same things have all been said for every stage of development in every asian economy ever

            Which makes it less relevant, how?

            > Africa is not a magically unique market.

            At this point in time, it is quite different from other developing markets.

            > recasting the status quo of doubting the asian tigers as somehow insightful. Consider looking into how those perennial predictions turn out.

            How is a statement regarding past mistakes predictive?

            > There’s a difference in price but not in kind between 6k mini-cars and 10k subcompact ones. And yes there are used cars of every price in the US and China.

            The difference in kind is in the brands and context. As stated by observers and auto executives, this is brand building. The USA is a mature market, China is a relatively closed and controlled one.

            > It’s about as relevant as discussing the state of the art of chinese phones of 6 years ago.

            Which is relevant when discussing the resistance of buyers to Chinese phones today.

            > So you can see the very rapid improvement in far shorter spans (and therefore less affected customers) than the Koreans who went through this same exercise elsewhere not 10-20 years ago, yet can’t figure out where it’s going.

            Blah blah. Ignore ignore the part of my post you quoted right after that:

            “I’ve stated repeatedly that the Chinese are improving and may someday achieve parity.”

            > Is this sort of joke? Look at how long it took the Japanes to achieve parity, how long it took the Koreans to achieve parity, and you seem to be aware of how much faster things are moving in China. Connecting these dot should be relatively easy.

            Again, the issue is not quality in the future. The issue is quality in the past and how it has affected market acceptance, and how the interaction with secondhand Japanese cars affects brand perception.

            Obviously, though, even when directly quoting me saying they are going to catch up, you’re going to keep claiming this is an issue where we are predicting failure for the Chinese rather than pointing out failures in the past.

            Again, the start of this argument is you saying: “Poor people are the perfect market for cheap & subpar build quality. Low labor costs imply cheap repairs and low value for time lost.”

            Sorry, customer response says you’re wrong. The people selling these cheap cars say you’re wrong. The analysts say you’re wrong.

            No matter what tangent you try to push the argument towards, I’ve presented my arguments and citations against this line, while you’ve provided naught.

          • 0 avatar

            > I already said that shortcutting reliability testing wasn’t a great idea.

            The claim was that their r&d cycles are twice as fast, in which case it’s worth pointing out that doing half the work in half the time isn’t some sort of innovation.

            > Which makes it less relevant, how?

            Because these “concerns” don’t bear fruit. It’s click-bait at best.

            > At this point in time, it is quite different from other developing markets.

            Not substantially so in any worthwhile way.

            > How is a statement regarding past mistakes predictive?

            When it portends of future events.

            > The difference in kind is in the brands and context. As stated by observers and auto executives, this is brand building. The USA is a mature market, China is a relatively closed and controlled one.

            Given the cornucopia of chinese products in every single market on the goddamn planet, how does this “context” matter?

            > Which is relevant when discussing the resistance of buyers to Chinese phones today.

            Same as resistance to cheap Korean electronics in the 90’s. Which is hilarious enough given most computers are already built in china. Did you forget label buying to shortcut this discussion above, too?

            > “I’ve stated repeatedly that the Chinese are improving and may someday achieve parity.”

            Ignoring that someday is a few years ahead for 2nd tier products in articles with ostensibly at least few years timeline is quite hilarious.

            > Obviously, though, even when directly quoting me saying they are going to catch up, you’re going to keep claiming this is an issue where we are predicting failure for the Chinese rather than pointing out failures in the past.

            Ok, so now you (and ostensibly the hill-sources quoted from) deny this has anything to do with past performance as indicator of future results.

            Sure, thanks for the history lesson. Unfortunately astute observers already saw this plays out a few times before.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Ok, so now you (and ostensibly the hill-sources quoted from) deny this has anything to do with past performance as indicator of future results.

            > Sure, thanks for the history lesson. Unfortunately astute observers already saw this plays out a few times before.

            Play. Not plays.

            Ad nauseum.

            Original article: Toyota expanding into continent.

            Sound bite: African customers want quality. Chinese makers ignored that. (corroborated) Now Chinese have to rebuild reputation. (corroborated) Chinese cars faced stiff competition from Japanese secondhands on entry because people saw those secondhands as more reliable (corroborated).

            You: Poor customers don’t care about quality.

            Me: That’s not true. You need to give customers the reassurance of quality in order to succeed. This is what Toyota is doing moving forward. This is what the Chinese have to do (and are trying to do) to move forward in Africa.

            You: It’s all clickbait. It’s not unique. I’m going to cite Chinese development and make it seem like you are deluded in thinking Chinese aren’t developing fast. I’m going to take something Al said and make it seem like you are deluded in thinking fast is good. Citing the past is a poor predictor of the future.

            Can’t win an argument and can’t back up your own opening statement, make the whole thread about something else.

          • 0 avatar

            > Play. Not plays.

            No, it’s “plays out”. If you’re going to be pedantic, at least be correct.

            > Can’t win an argument and can’t back up your own opening statement, make the whole thread about something else.

            “Low labor costs imply cheap repairs and low value for time lost.”

            It’s not my fault you apparently have zero context for comparison between the first and third world while pretending otherwise.

            Reliability is of paramount importance in the first world given that missing a couple days of work is approx equal to an entire monthly car payment. Contrast to the third world where that same payment is about the entire month’s paycheck, and therefore economic loss of two days in the shop is relatively trivial.

            Hopefully it’s not too high of a bar to expect competence at comparing numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > No, it’s “plays out”. If you’re going to be pedantic, at least be correct.

            Not in past tense. It’s “saw this play out” not “saw this plays out”. If you’re going to be nitpicky, at least be correct.

            > Reliability is of paramount importance in the first world given that missing a couple days of work is approx equal to an entire monthly car payment. Contrast to the third world where that same payment is about the entire month’s paycheck, and therefore economic loss of two days in the shop is relatively trivial.

            Trivial to you. Not to the person earning the wage, who’s got bills to pay. I’m not sure whether to be astounded by your gross incomprehension, or impressed that you used the word “relatively” as a safety valve to handwave any counterargument away.

            > It’s not my fault you apparently have zero context for comparison between the first and third world while pretending otherwise.

            That’s rich.

            > “Low labor costs imply cheap repairs and low value for time lost.”

            Quick, what’s the difference between making $80 a day and paying $80 an hour to a mechanic to work on a $100 part versus making $8 a day and paying $8 an hour to a mechanic to work on a $100 part.

            (Oh, the part ought to be cheaper in the second example… if it were locally made… but we’re assuming the spares come from China)

            > Hopefully it’s not too high of a bar to expect competence at comparing numbers.

            Thank you. That’s what I was going to say.

          • 0 avatar

            > Not in past tense. It’s “saw this play out” not “saw this plays out”. If you’re going to be nitpicky, at least be correct.

            I’m not referring to past tense in which case it would “played out”. The subject in this case is a process which is ongoing. “play out” is wrong in both cases, and now you know.

            > Trivial to you. Not to the person earning the wage, who’s got bills to pay. I’m not sure whether to be astounded by your gross incomprehension, or impressed that you used the word “relatively” as a safety valve to handwave any counterargument away.

            It’s trivial in relation to the value of the car. Again, this is a matter of comparing numbers, in which case larger ones trump smaller ones, which I gather is just as hard for some as past/present tense in english.

            > Quick, what’s the difference between making $80 a day and paying $80 an hour to a mechanic to work on a $100 part versus making $8 a day and paying $8 an hour to a mechanic to work on a $100 part.

            The high cost of labor and time lost in relation to car & parts is why reliability matters in the first world. A 2-3k aggregate price for any significant repair on a <5k car makes it the most substantive consideration in a used vehicle. In comparison a <1k repair on the same item, if you concentration hard enough, makes for a much smaller ratio.

            I'll let you figure out why those cars are exported to the third-world in the first place, and maybe you'll finally grasp the point despite living there.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > I’m not referring to past tense in which case it would “played out”. The subject in this case is a process which is ongoing. “play out” is wrong in both cases, and now you know.

            Original statement:

            “Unfortunately astute observers already saw this plays out a few times before.”

            The correct form, grammatically, would be:

            “Unfortunately, astute observers have seen this play out a few times before.”

            If you had wanted to use “played out”, it would be:

            “Unfortunately, as astute observers can tell you, this has played out a few times before.”

            Though if you’re stating that this is a continuing thing, that would be:

            “Unfortunately, astute observers are also seeing this play out elsewhere.”

            Keep defending it, go ahead. I’ve got a number of theses to edit, so I’m bored and I’ve got time.

            > It’s trivial in relation to the value of the car. Again, this is a matter of comparing numbers, in which case larger ones trump smaller ones, which I gather is just as hard for some as past/present tense in english.

            Yes, apparently it is. Because it’s the car paying for the repairs now, right? And here I was under the delusion that it was the income and opportunity cost of the person paying for the repairs that mattered, since you brought it up.

            > A 2-3k aggregate price for any significant repair on a <5k car makes it the most substantive consideration in a used vehicle.

            Again, how do lower labor costs help someone who is making less money, when they have to pay the same price for parts?

            > I’ll let you figure out why those cars are exported to the third-world in the first place, and maybe you’ll finally grasp the point despite living there.

            For the same reason everyone from Nissan-Datsun to Ford is racing to make “cheap” entry-level cars. Because there are customers there.

            Trying to change the subject isn’t working out very well, is it?

          • 0 avatar

            LOL, “Unfortunately astute observers already saw this plays out a few times before.”

            is missing a word:

            “Unfortunately astute observers already saw how this plays out a few times before.”

            “how this plays out” refers to an ongoing process, which is by definition past tense.

            Christ, this is saddest case of pedantry in light of completely missing the point. But since you seem like a nice guy, I’ll explain it for the 5th time in smaller words:

            When a car is one repair away from being junked its economic value decreases drastically. A 4k car with potential 2-3k problems (or a 2k car going through 1k+ problems) is not something anyone wants to own. That’s in significant part why used samples of them are shipped off to the third world where those 2-3k problems become 1k problems, or the equivalent ratio of much more realistic 2-3k problems on a 10k car (ie, cars less likely to be shipped off).

            To be crystal clear, a poor place is much less sensitive to reliability relative to the write-off cost of the product, irrespective of new or used. Or to be quite repetitive, a new 4-5k car with 1k repairs is much more feasible than a new 4-5k with 2-3k repairs (ie if in the first world).

            Here you are obviously proud of some “expertise” in third-world cars, yet the basic economics of cheap used ones or somewhat shoddy new ones continues to escape you.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s not exactly the secret that even the Chinese automakers know that they have lousy reputations abroad, which limits which markets they can target and moderates their expectations. I’m not sure why anyone would quibble about this.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > LOL, “Unfortunately astute observers already saw this plays out a few times before.”

            > is missing a word:

            > “Unfortunately astute observers already saw how this plays out a few times before.”

            Not my fault it was missing a word when you first typed it out.

            > When a car is one repair away from being junked its economic value decreases drastically. A 4k car with potential 2-3k problems (or a 2k car going through 1k+ problems) is not something anyone wants to own. That’s in significant part why used samples of them are shipped off to the third world where those 2-3k problems become 1k problems, or the equivalent ratio of much more realistic 2-3k problems on a 10k car (ie, cars less likely to be shipped off).

            Firstly, we’re talking Japanese market secondhands, which are often shipped off with years of useful life ahead of them.

            And secondly, I don’t think you caught what I said previously about secondhand parts. A 4-5k car with 2-3k worth of problems is no longer a 4-5k car in the developing world. It becomes a 1k donor for parts for other 4-5k cars. But what do I know about the used car trade, eh?

            > To be crystal clear, a poor place is much less sensitive to reliability relative to the write-off cost of the product, irrespective of new or used. Or to be quite repetitive, a new 4-5k car with 1k repairs is much more feasible than a new 4-5k with 2-3k repairs (ie if in the first world).

            You keep saying that. I don’t think you understand how much money 4-5k is for someone making a tenth of what you do. Which is why they want whatever they spend that 4-5k on to last as long as possible.

            Even with the invented spread between 2-3k and 1k, you still have yet to address income disparity in the buying and repair process, which negates the lower labor cost of repair and makes the simple act of buying, in the first place, more difficult.

            > Here you are obviously proud of some “expertise” in third-world cars, yet the basic economics of cheap used ones or somewhat shoddy new ones continues to escape you.

            Uh, it doesn’t. Obviously.

          • 0 avatar

            > It’s not exactly the secret that even the Chinese automakers know that they have lousy reputations abroad, which limits which markets they can target and moderates their expectations.

            You’re a bit late to give the same advice to the japanese & koreans before them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Chinese may or may not be selling better cars in a decade or two.

            But the guy buying a car in his village today doesn’t much care about that.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            @Pch101: And neither do many Chinese, apparently:

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626304579512144185637348 (if it paywalls, an IP proxy gets you around that… )

            I expect once the number of manufacturers is trimmed down, and the majors gain enough momentum, the loss of market share will level out… but perceptions still affect these brands, even at home.

            @UMS: On a different tack, forgive me for not noticing you were changing the subject… again!

            But yes, a 4-5k car that isn’t suitable for first world markets will actually sell in poor markets. That much is true. It doesn’t mean reliability doesn’t matter.

            In the end, the reality is: given the choice between two 5k cars, buyers will pick the one that they assume will cost them less in repairs over the next several years.

            In poor markets, there’s even more impetus to do so, because they lack the monetary resources to pay for a lot of repairs, otherwise they would have enough money to finance a brand new car of better provenance than said 5k car, in the first place.

          • 0 avatar

            > Not my fault it was missing a word when you first typed it out.

            It’s the fault of the pedant to make a discussion about a missing word.

            > Firstly, we’re talking Japanese market secondhands, which are often shipped off with years of useful life ahead of them.

            More years in the third world than the first, which is rather the point.

            > And secondly, I don’t think you caught what I said previously about secondhand parts. A 4-5k car with 2-3k worth of problems is no longer a 4-5k car in the developing world. It becomes a 1k donor for parts for other 4-5k cars. But what do I know about the used car trade, eh?

            Again, a 2-3k first world problem is usually a 1k third-world problem. Again, this is the point, not 4k cars with 3k third world problems.

            > You keep saying that. I don’t think you understand how much money 4-5k is for someone making a tenth of what you do. Which is why they want whatever they spend that 4-5k on to last as long as possible.

            Again, this has absolutely nothing do with the *inherent* economic issue of write-off repairs on cars which applies everywhere, just more so in the first-world given the cost structure of repairs.

            > Even with the invented spread between 2-3k and 1k, you still have yet to address income disparity in the buying and repair process, which negates the lower labor cost of repair and makes the simple act of buying, in the first place, more difficult.

            Again, a millionaire in the first or third world has the same problems with repair bills on their AMG Mercedes. Except in the third world the 100hrs labor to fix it makes them more economically feasible.

            Again, this is the basic formula for why somewhat less reliable new cars or used cars are worth more in the 3rd world than the 1st. The math is inescapable.

          • 0 avatar

            > The Chinese may or may not be selling better cars in a decade or two. But the guy buying a car in his village today doesn’t much care about that.

            The current gen of upper tier chinese cars are already better than what the koreans or japanese started out with. The question isn’t if they’ll get there, but how fast.

            Seems rather relevant in forward looking articles about Toyota’s *plans* for africa.

          • 0 avatar

            > On a different tack, forgive me for not noticing you were changing the subject… again!

            Christ, just because you have trouble connecting the dots with straight lines drawn between them doesn’t mean they’re different subjects. The math is *exactly the same* for maintenance costs relative to low priced cars (you know, the stuff sold in poor places) irrespective of new or used.

            “changing the subject” would be something like bringing the most trite issues of grammar out of nowhere.

            > In poor markets, there’s even more impetus to do so, because they lack the monetary resources to pay for a lot of repairs, otherwise they would have enough money to finance a brand new car of better provenance than said 5k car, in the first place.

            A lower tier new car is ostensibly closer in reliability to a worn used car.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I see now where some of this angst is coming from.

            Toyota is going to use an old standby trick used by automakers for developing markets: it’s going to take the older architecture of a mainstay car (in this case, a Corolla that would be outdated to the rest of us), and recycle it for use in a developing market.

            Meanwhile, the company makes some sort of press statement or issues a press release that makes some vague assertion about its market plans. The press dutifully circulates the message, but without analyzing whether it’s truly the watershed moment that the PR department would like us to believe that it is.

            TMC is already successful in at least some African markets. The Chinese are no threat to them at the moment; at this time, there are already other established competitors to worry about and who are more deserving of attention.

            And of course, most of the population can’t afford their products, anyway. This relatively low level of demand can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future. But a billion people live there now, so even if most of them are dirt poor, there will still be a sliver of that billion with some money to spend.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Again, this is the basic formula for why somewhat less reliable new cars or used cars are worth more in the 3rd world than the 1st. The math is inescapable.

            Again, what does this have to do for a buyer choosing between two cars in the 3rd world? To say that they will accept cheaper cars does not in any way suggest that they will buy a less reliable one, given alternatives they see as better? (as is plainly spelled out in the original article) Poor buyers will accept lower upfront quality. Lower reliability over time, no, not unless repairs are cheap enough (again, leads back to the easy supply of secondhand parts).

            > It’s the fault of the pedant to make a discussion about a missing word.

            Getting bored. Looking for something else to do.

            > The current gen of upper tier chinese cars are already better than what the koreans or japanese started out with. The question isn’t if they’ll get there, but how fast.

            Again, how does improvement negate the assertions that Chinese cars have been competing with secondhand Japanese imports in Africa and that they’re facing an image problem due to past quality issues?

            If there is anything predictive about the article, it’s that for a company to grow in Africa, it has to assure customers of reliability. A sentiment echoed by the companies and buyers themselves.

          • 0 avatar

            > The Chinese are no threat to them at the moment; at this moment, there are other competitors to worry about.

            This sounds like what the big-3 advisers said about their asian predecessors. And by big-3 I mean every market.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Christ, just because you have trouble connecting the dots with straight lines drawn between them doesn’t mean they’re different subjects. The math is *exactly the same* for repair costs relative to low priced cars (you know, the stuff sold in poor places) irrespective of new or used.

            Sorry if I’m slow, but a while ago, you said it mattered less in developing markets, and that it was relatively trivial? Forgive me, that doesn’t sound “exactly the same.”

            > “changing the subject” would be something like bringing the most trite issues of grammar out of nowhere.

            I’d apologize, maybe, if I thought you weren’t avoiding answering the most simple of questions. Oh, wait, you’ve finally answered:

            > A lower tier new car is ostensibly closer in reliability to a worn used car.

            And here, we finally get to it. You would think so. But in the recent past, this has not held true for the Chinese in Africa, with the added issues of poor localization, lack of spare parts support, lack of manufacturer commitment and such. The lack of spare parts support already puts paid the opportunity cost argument in terms of the time taken to repair.

            As enumerated in the various links I’ve already provided.

            Again, if people see used cars as more reliable than your brand new car because of past experiences, you will have problems convincing them that things are different now.

            In the end, there was never any argument about whether the Chinese will improve or expand, but these issues will affect how quickly or slowly they can expand into new markets… which will affect their ability to gain the volume needed to improve or survive.

          • 0 avatar

            > Again, what does this have to do for a buyer choosing between two cars in the 3rd world?

            Really? *You* were the one whining that the original argument that quality matters less in the third world doesn’t make sense. Now that the obvious economics is explained, I guess it’s time to “change the subject”.

            > Getting bored. Looking for something else to do.

            Sure, like changing the subject.

            > Again, how does improvement negate the assertions that Chinese cars have been competing with secondhand Japanese imports in Africa and that they’re facing an image problem due to past quality issues?

            Because image problems are solved by selling a better product? Or *gasp* relabeling it as I’ve been through a dozen times?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I guess that I needed to be more blunt.

            Toyota is introducing a new (old) car. This is not that big of a deal, but you’re sure turning it into one. The author of this piece got a bit suckered by a press release, and so did you.

            And there are some considerable differences between this situation and what happened to Detroit.

            The Japanese didn’t just import cars, but a new method of production that dramatically improved quality. In contrast, the Chinese have inferior quality, and will have to copy Toyota for a decade or more before they can hope to be somewhat on par.

            Also, the US market had largely matured by the time that the Japanese made their American push. In contrast, Africa is now undeveloped and may grow.

            For the Japanese to grow in the US, they had to take share and volume from the domestics, which they did at great expense to the locals. But if Africa grows, then they will make the pie higher (as George Bush would have said) and there will be new business for everyone who can compete; nobody needs to get hurt.

          • 0 avatar

            > I’d apologize, maybe, if I thought you weren’t avoiding answering the most simple of questions. Oh, wait, you’ve finally answered:

            The issue here is that I presumed someone who bases their entire argument over deprecated cars in the third world, who lives and works there, would be aware of the most fundamental reason why those cars are there in the first place.

            So imagine *my* surprise.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Japanese produce high volumes of used cars, thanks to their regulatory system. With the supply as high as it is and the inability to sell those cars in most of the first world (particularly those who drive on the other side of the road), these cars mostly go to the third world.

            They’re not necessarily bad cars. They get exported en masse because the Japanese government deliberately sabotages the used car market so that there is an incentive at home to buy new cars and offload the older ones.

            New Zealand is one of the few first-world nations that gets them, as NZ is one of the only first world countries that both (a) has no domestic auto industry and (b) drives on the left.

          • 0 avatar

            > This is not that big of a deal, but you’re sure turning it into one. The author of this piece got a bit suckered by a press release, and so did you.

            Sure, I guess that’s why I kept referring to it as some podunk market.

            > The Japanese didn’t just import cars, but a new method of production that dramatically improved quality. In contrast, the *****Koreans**** have inferior quality, and will have to copy Toyota for a decade or more before they can hope to be somewhat on par.

            Recall it wasn’t until the 70-80’s japanese quality began to shine through, and their reputation for copying preceded them. Except as evidenced by every other industry there we’re on a much more compressed timeline these days. Passenger cars didn’t even exist in china when the *Koreans* started exporting en masse.

          • 0 avatar

            > these cars mostly go to the third world.

            The point was the reason why that’s the ideal destination is the better economics of maintenance there.

            It’s also the exact same economics of why newer second tier cars also tend to sell in the third world.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t see anyone denying that the Chinese might improve their game in the future. (Then again, they may not.)

            Perhaps you could find someone who believes that the Chinese will never, ever build a decent car and argue with them. You apparently want a fight about that, but you’ll need to find someone else to provide that argument for you.

            But I’m not that person; I’m dealing with the here-and-now, when the Chinese aren’t particularly competitive. And all I see here is TMC launching a new car accompanied by some unsurprising PR talk.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s apparent to me that you don’t understand the dynamics of these used JDM exports. They’re largely a function of supply — Japan pressures its population dump its cars, including cars that are perfectly good.

            If we drove on the same side of the road and didn’t have grey market import restrictions, then we would be good candidates for them, too. They’re not the beaters that you’re envisioning.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > This sounds like what the big-3 advisers said about their asian predecessors. And by big-3 I mean every market.

            Japan and Korea benefitted from relatively closed markets that were difficult to enter due to trade barriers. Japan is *ostensibly* open now, but the currency barrier, varying regulations and a fairly patriotic customer base still make it incredibly hard to penetrate… whereas Japanese companies already have footholds in other markets and can deal with those issues.

            Korea took a big shortcut by licensing from the Japanese and copying the Japanese industrial model.

            China has most of the same ingredients… patriotic buyers, a captive market and rapid industrialization. But they opened up their market via those vaunted Joint Ventures.

            Many of these are successful, but at the cost of marginalizing locally branded manufacturers.

            I’m sure we can all agree that a lot of the smaller Chinese brands will not survive the next few decades. Only the biggest and fittest will survive.

            The big ones, with their Joint Ventures, will survive. But future expansion into emerging markets is fraught with issues, as the Indians, Koreans and Chinese-Western and Indian-Western joint ventures, as well as Western regional development centers, will all be fighting for a part of that pie.

            Same thing there: Only the biggest and fittest will thrive.

            —–

            The entire crux of this argument is over secondhand cars. As Pch101 points out, Japan exports a whole lot of them. The volume in imported secondhands in some countries exceeds the volume of trade for both brand new and local secondhands… combined. Japanese regulations make it very difficult to sell these secondhands inside the country, so they’re exported for ridiculously low prices given their condition.

            As I pointed out a few days ago, this surplus of reliable used cars and machinery has been used by Japan Inc. to build brand awareness in markets that can’t (yet) buy Japanese firsthand. You can’t build customer loyalty like that building to the lowest bidder.

            In the meantime, Toyota has brand saturation thanks to the large numbers of secondhand Toyotas there. And by building a new, low cost, old tech car, they’re playing to the choir there.

            This is not to say the Chinese cannot make inroads, but they will find it difficult against such brand recognition and acceptance.

          • 0 avatar

            > But I’m not that person; I’m dealing with the here-and-now, when the Chinese aren’t particularly competitive.

            No, you’re dealing with 5-10 years in the past. Their current mid-level products are similar to the 2nd tier cars typically sold as new in the developing world.

            Before taking the path of the party of least concern, you’re on the record for the thread on developing nation growth strategies above.

          • 0 avatar

            > Japan pressures its population dump its cars, including cars that are perfectly good.

            Sure, Japan in particular subsidizes used cars for LHD countries. This isn’t the only odd dynamic given late model luxury cars bound for Eastern Europe from the US.

            Regardless the point remains that a 5k cars with 2k repair loss (500 in parts and 1k labor and 500 loss of use) in the US and 1k elsewhere is going to be worth more elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Dealing with the here and now, the only Chinese car I’ve driven (yet) that seems superior to the Japanese (the BYD F5) carries a price tag roughly equivalent to 1st tier Japanese products. That’s a hard sell.

            Like I’ve said, high quality Chinese cars no longer have the huge price advantage that lower quality offerings have. In the meantime, developing markets require lead-off products like the Etios and Quest at lower price points to build volume.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Put the Chinese strawman to bed. Nobody on this thread disagrees that China may eventually build a decent car.

            Perhaps we could search around the internet to find someone else who firmly believes that the Chinese will never build a decent car and then invite him here, so that you have someone to play with. But in any case, I’m not your guy.

            In the meantime, learn something about the used JDM market. (Hint: Don’t learn it from the former editor of this website, who provides a revisionist version of the truth in order to support his bogus claims that Japan has a completely open market.)

            Once you’ve learned about that from somebody other than the aforementioned former editor, do keep in mind that most of the developed world isn’t capable of accepting what are often perfectly good cars due to differences in regulatory standards and the steering wheel location, and it becomes apparent why things are as they are.

          • 0 avatar

            > China has most of the same ingredients… patriotic buyers, a captive market and rapid industrialization. But they opened up their market via those vaunted Joint Ventures.

            The point of the JVs were to increase the speed of industrialization by reducing redundant development. The internal market is large enough anyway and the JVs themselves under the thumb of the central party.

            > This is not to say the Chinese cannot make inroads, but they will find it difficult against such brand recognition and acceptance.

            If that were the case, the Koreans would’ve never succeeded against an even longer record of subpar quality.

          • 0 avatar

            > Put the Chinese strawman to bed. Nobody on this thread disagrees that China may eventually build a decent car.

            If your argument is a couple generations off, don’t blame others for pointing this out.

            > Once you’ve learned about that from somebody other than the aforementioned former editor

            Why would I care what Bertel has to say?

            Also, to niky, the other compelling reason for JVs is that China was too large of a country to fund only a couple conglomerates (per Korea) for the tiered industrialization strategy. The point is to offer opportunities across the country (or at least the coastline), which is difficult when the country isn’t just one city.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t see any indication that TMC, Nissan or Honda are on the verge of bankruptcy because of the Koreans.

            Given the lack of parallels, I’m not sure why you keep bringing them up. If anything, they help to illustrate that the Japanese haven’t been caught with their pants down in the same way that Detroit was with them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            OK, I give up. Soon, Toyota will destroyed by the Chinese invaders. Toyota is the General Motors of Asia, and the fat cats at Toyota City are too busy smoking their cigars and driving their Crowns to see what’s about to hit them between the eyes.

            I’m still missing what that possibly has to do with the recycled Corolla variant that is being launched in Africa, or with the flood of generally decent used cars and trucks that exit Japan and impress the Taliban and other up-and-comers with their durability.

          • 0 avatar

            > I don’t see any indication that TMC, Nissan or Honda are on the verge of bankruptcy because of the Koreans.

            Given that the Koreans are gradually but surely taking new business away from the Japanese, folks who dispose of their overproduction internally via national debt should rather care.

            > Given the lack of parallels, I’m not sure why you keep bringing them up. If anything, they help to illustrate that the Japanese haven’t been caught with their pants down in the same way that Detroit was with them.

            It’s worth bringing up previous similar examples, especially when what’s coming is even larger in magnitude.

          • 0 avatar

            > Ok, I give up. Soon, Toyota will destroyed by the Chinese invaders. I’m still missing what that possibly has to do with the recycled Corolla variant that is being launched in Africa

            Low end toyotas compete directly against mid-tier chinese cars. Not really sure how connected these two dots can be.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            One of you needs to do more homework on this subject, and it isn’t Niky.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Joint ventures help shorten development time. But they also give outsiders access to your market, allowing them to gain market share and brand recognition. Of course, there are more positives than negatives for the local manufacturers (more money is never a negative) if they play their cards right.

            Still, JVs haven’t stopped manufacturers from working on developing their own vehicles and spending on R&D. Stuff which the Chinese will still need in the future, after the transfer of technology.

            > If that were the case, the Koreans would’ve never succeeded against an even longer record of subpar quality.

            *difficult* is not the same as impossible.

            And, nobody here is debating that the Chinese are improving and may someday overcome that stigma. (again, again… again?)

            To note, the only Korean-owned mass market manufacturer left in Korea is Hyundai-Kia. Samsung was swallowed up by Renault, Daewoo was swallowed up by GM, and Ssangyong is dead (looks it up) …is being bought out by Mahindra. The Korean success story is basically the success of one company… Hyundai.

            That’s a worse survival rate than America. And that’s even with stricter trade barriers than Japan.

          • 0 avatar

            > One of you needs to do more homework on this subject, and it isn’t Niky.

            Pretty sure I’m already the one doing significant figuring here outside of the parroting the conventional wisdom of “experts” like Bertel and his friends.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            So, you, without bothering to look up any facts and figures, talking in generalities, putting up strawmen and using arguments based on incomplete facts and models, understand the situation better than several motoring journalists, industry analysts, industry insiders and executives?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If a Chinese automaker is going to make strides, then it will probably be Great Wall. (They seem to have figured out what they’ll need to do in order to compete with the big boys.)

            If Africa grows, then there should be enough room for everyone.

            In any case, the market there now is small enough that a tick in market share does not amount to a lot of total units.

            All told, I see a lot of FUD on the thread, and not much else. It’s possible that everyone will have their lunch eaten by the Chinese, but we haven’t even had breakfast yet.

          • 0 avatar

            > Still, JVs haven’t stopped manufacturers from working on developing their own vehicles and spending on R&D. Stuff which the Chinese will still need in the future, after the transfer of technology.

            JV’s in essence trade off market access for technology access, and the chinese thusly have access to tech from every auto maker on earth. The cars are built in china by chinese production staff, and design tech is, uh, “diffused” around.

            > To note, the only Korean-owned mass market manufacturer left in Korea is Hyundai-Kia. Samsung was swallowed up by Renault, Daewoo was swallowed up by GM, and Ssangyong is dead (looks it up) …is being bought out by Mahindra. The Korean success story is basically the success of one company… Hyundai.

            This is actually the problem with trying to follow the Japanese example too closely when they’re really a one-city country. Frankly they didn’t understand the underlying fundamentals of the model as outlined in the Brazil thread above.

          • 0 avatar

            > If any of the Chineae automakers is going to make strides, then it will probably be Great Wall. (They seem to have figured out what they’ll need to do in order to compete with the big boys.) If Africa grows, then there should be enough room for everyone.

            There’s going to be significant consolidation of the 100+ makers in the country so it’s too early to say what the eventual landscape will be. The current internal competition is quite regional and therefore political.

            Internal growth is higher than outside, so everyone’s still inwardly focused.

            > So, you, without bothering to look up any facts and figures, talking in generalities, putting up strawmen and using arguments based on incomplete facts and models, understand the situation better than several motoring journalists, industry analysts, industry insiders and executives?

            Outside of very few intellectual niches where being right matters, most authorities aren’t what their social influence might suggest. Worship of simplistic conventional wisdom for the masses doesn’t help.

            It’s a personal guilty pleasure to own “experts” for the lulz.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Internal growth is higher than outside, so everyone’s still inwardly focused.

            It’s crowded. Which is why the Chinese are looking at outside markets and building assembly facilities wherever they can.

            > It’s a personal guilty pleasure to own “experts” for the lulz.

            That would be more convincing if you had actually “owned” anyone in this thread.

          • 0 avatar

            > It’s crowded. Which is why the Chinese are looking at outside markets and building assembly facilities wherever they can.

            Yet it’s growing at double digit percentiles. It’s pretty obvious you’ve never been to china, so it’s important to be clued in by those who have.

            A significant number of these makes are inland for whom the coast is their foreign contact have little outside experience, and the coastal BJ/Sh corridor is too busy servicing the massive metro infrastructure build-outs. There’s only so many new engineers & other professionals which can be brought into the fold every year.

            It’s a very inviting and decadent place for the opportunistic, and well worth visiting to get a sense of the seat of power in asia.

            > That would be more convincing if you had actually “owned” anyone in this thread.

            It’s a personal pleasure as opposed to a social one. In general the clueless are worthy of their defining characteristic.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            May as well toss out a few factoids:

            -The Chinese export about a million new cars per year. The Japanese export about a million used cars per year. Obviously similar in that respect.

            -The total global new car market in 2013 was about 83 million units. Obviously, a million isn’t much compared to that.

            -For the most part, the primary destinations for new Chinese cars and used JDM cars are not the same, although there is a bit of overlap.

            -One place where there is overlap is Russia. A few stats for the first half of 2013:

            >New car sales YTD of about 1.3 million units
            >Geely’s market share is about 1%. Lots of bigger fish there, of various nationalities. (And those Geelys could be Volvos.)
            >Used car sales YTD of about 2 million units
            >Used JDM sales YTD of about 80k units, or about 4% of the total used market

            On the whole, I doubt think that there is much conflict here. The Chinese don’t export enough units to matter, while not everyone gets the JDM cars. (During 1H2013, NZ was the #3 importer of these, FWIW.)

            The Chinese need to improve quality before they can expect to gain significant share. The used JDM cars influence some markets a lot, but others not so much.

            Toyota’s market share varies from place to place. They have much larger foes than the Chinese to worry about in many of these places. The panic about the great future Chinese invasion is misplaced, given that there are others that already compete for the business, right now.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Toyota has Volkswagen to worry about… political tensions and a strong showing by that brand in China is limiting them there.

            And they’re not having that much success in India, either. Perhaps these new low-cost vehicles will help. Perhaps not.

            ——

            How does double digit growth negate the statement that “it’s a crowded market”? When you’ve only got 30% of that market, you want to hedge your bets by expanding into others.

            > It’s a personal pleasure as opposed to a social one. In general the clueless are worthy of their defining characteristic.

            Self-awareness is such a wonderful thing, don’t you think?

          • 0 avatar

            > The Chinese need to improve quality before they can expect to gain significant share. The used JDM cars influence some markets a lot, but others not so much.

            As mentioned, there’s more than enough pie to go around for a bit longer before they start cannibalizing each other and shift focus outward. The first tier JVs build the same international cars as elsewhere, so “need to improve quality” is a selective statement.

            Just to be clear, I’m not the one eager to compare used JDM and new chinese cars anyway.

          • 0 avatar

            > Toyota has Volkswagen to worry about… political tensions and a strong showing by that brand in China is limiting them there.

            The japanese were limited only by their own nationalist dunces back home. Apparently apologizing for wrongs isn’t inherent in the culture as some in the west like to propose.

            > How does double digit growth negate the statement that “it’s a crowded market”? When you’ve only got 30% of that market, you want to hedge your bets by expanding into others.

            Far more growth than existing players can even expand to is only a positive in the broader picture. Perhaps that’s why there are 100+ makers.

            Again, it would help to have a bit of regional understanding. Most of these players outside the JVs which are inherently local aren’t exactly intl marketing material. If anything that’s a far larger barrier than the tech.

            > Self-awareness is such a wonderful thing, don’t you think?

            This isn’t a matter of opinion. I happen to be from those niches where being right matters.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > The japanese were limited only by their own nationalist dunces back home. Apparently apologizing for wrongs isn’t inherent in the culture as some in the west like to propose.

            It’s a fallacy to think that’s all there is to it. China has been throwing its weight around, and Japan is one of the countries it targets. A lot of the Chinese-Japanese “tension” is manufactured by the Chinese propaganda machine (though it’s not hard to rile people up, given past relations), and Japanese manufacturers suffer from that.

            > Again, it would help to have a bit of regional understanding.

            Yes, it would. Thankfully, I have more than just a bit.

            Facts are: It’s the manufacturers themselves who are looking at expansion and who have identified it as a necessity, because they’re losing market share, which also means they’re not gaining significant sales despite the growth of the market itself.

            http://www.caam.org.cn/AutomotivesStatistics/20140314/0905115984.html

            > This isn’t a matter of opinion. I happen to be from those niches where being right matters.

            Oh? So far, opinions are all you’ve brought to the discussion. And, obviously, this isn’t your niche.

            You started out with this assumption:

            “Poor people are the perfect market for cheap & subpar build quality. Low labor costs imply cheap repairs and low value for time lost.”

            The customers won’t bite if they have other options. And recent history shows that subpar quality (as with the flood of Chinese motorcycles before the government closed the gates) affects future sales. Chinese manufacturers themselves have cited these negative perceptions as challenges to growth.

            You can sell poor people a product without all the bells and whistles, and one ostensibly cruder than what you would sell in a developed nation. But you can’t sell subpar quality. Not if you expect to retain those customers or grow your business in that market.

            That is all.

          • 0 avatar

            > It’s a fallacy to think that’s all there is to it. China has been throwing its weight around, and Japan is one of the countries it targets. A lot of the Chinese-Japanese “tension” is manufactured by the Chinese propaganda machine

            The war atrocities perpetrated by Japan not too long ago were often of a level worse than the Nazis on the Jews, so it’s worth mentioning that this physical animosity doesn’t need much fanning when PMs and MPs are seen to be publicly honoring class-A war criminals.

            It also doesn’t help when even textbooks of those responsible appear to be whitewashed along with mentalities such as yours when it comes to what the “propaganda” is here.

            > Facts are: It’s the manufacturers themselves who are looking at expansion and who have identified it as a necessity, because they’re losing market share

            It’s also worth pointing that I already mentioned the increasing unpopularity of low end non-jv models as the middle class becomes more affluent. The basic economic reason for this doesn’t need to be repeated for the 6th time. The same reason why the same segment may find some success elsewhere doesn’t need to be repeated for the 7th time.

            These aren’t cars that anyone is making bank on, nor is that particular relevant for the purpose; they’re often subsidized provincially anyway. In time the local and esp. inland makes need to consolidate, and the politics of this and other business competence concerns mentioned are the legit pressing issues (which of course none of these “experts” cover).

            > Oh? So far, opinions are all you’ve brought to the discussion. And, obviously, this isn’t your niche.

            As a protip for life, expertise and competence comes as much in layers as verticals. Note that considerable effort was expended here explaining the simplest of money concepts nevermind what’s actually going on in china or elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Who’s forgetting wartime atrocities? My great grandfather was killed by the Japanese in the war.

            If you would like to get all “Sins of the Father” on us, it is very hard to claim that no wartime or peacetime atrocities were ever committed by other countries.

            Shinzo Abe is an infuriating person, but it’s foolhardy to think that this is all there is to it. The Chinese government does what it does more for political reasons than for ethical ones, and takes great delight in being affronted about things it doesn’t necessarily have legitimate reasons to be affronted about.

            It was quite funny when Chinese students started expressing concern over the mass rioting in the Philippines and possible attacks on Chinese nationals over the South China Sea row… due to news coming to them from back home. News which couldn’t be further from the truth.

            The China-Japan tensions now over a bunch of rocks off the south of Japan is similar in nature.

            —-

            > In time the local and esp. inland makes need to consolidate, and the politics of this and other business competence concerns mentioned are the legit pressing issues (which of course none of these “experts” cover).

            The existence of one issue does not negate the existence of others. Status-seeking (which you so patiently explained only once or twice) is only one factor in car-buying, and it is directly influenced by factors (such as past reliability) affecting brand perception. Nobody here is denying that other factors matter except you.

            Also, once the subsidies end and consolidation begins, the most successful companies will be able to further strengthen their position. None of this negates the need for the brands that want to succeed to expand market share and volume.

            > As a protip for life, expertise and competence comes as much in layers as verticals. Note that considerable effort was expended here explaining the simplest of money concepts nevermind what’s actually going on in china or elsewhere.

            Expended in explaining things I already know? Quite.

            Until you back up your arguments with citations (if not from the media you distrust, at least statistical sources of hard data), you can hardly claim to have explained anything.

          • 0 avatar

            > The Chinese government does what it does more for political reasons than for ethical ones, and takes great delight in being affronted about things it doesn’t necessarily have legitimate reasons to be affronted about.

            You seem to have no issue with consumers’ lasting impressions of a product based on another product from the same country. Let’s just say open torture and mutilation as a sporting contest tends to have a longer statute of limitations than a somewhat unreliable car.

            To this day, Korea still bans artifacts of Japanese culture including irreverent comic books. It’s funny how facts about political allies go missing from the “propaganda” narrative.

            > Nobody here is denying that other factors matter except you.

            It’s generally counterproductive to iterate through a list when the first couple things are already evidently too confusing.

            > None of this negates the need for the brands that want to succeed to expand market share and volume.

            For example, it seems much of that confusion comes from simplifying a vast range of makers with conflicting interests/outlooks/etc into some kind of “china” block. There’s no point to expanding lists without some understanding of the underlying structure.

            > Expended in explaining things I already know? Quite. Until you back up your arguments with citations (if not from the media you distrust, at least statistical sources of hard data), you can hardly claim to have explained anything.

            These are just some surface qualifications of the facts on the ground evident to astute observers, a few key points in a broad framework. This isn’t some kind of academic paper, which is fortunate because the relationships here are more complicated than maintenance cost ratio.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Can’t refute, turn it into an ethical argument, raise yet another strawman.

            Handwave handwave.

            Can’t refute, trivialize.

            Can’t refute, claim “it’s complicated man”

            Belittle belittle. Claim other side knows nothing despite obvious lack of firsthand knowledge of the subject and no information offered besides glaringly vague generalities.

            Pretty much done here.

          • 0 avatar

            > Can’t refute, turn it into an ethical argument, raise yet another strawman.

            This is a good example of why this level of “expertise” tends to be entirely worthless.

            As an illustration of anti-japanese sentiments across the former empire of the rising sun, S.Korea as ostensibly democratic country literally bans Japanese culture over this same issue, which would imply it has rather deep roots beyond the CCP.

            Are you going to now pretend it’s all the same commie propaganda?

        • 0 avatar

          > These things are even worse than the Pony and Excel years. Worse for being about as bad as the Pony despite it being nearly four decades later.

          The newest Chery nevermind SAIC is not the QQ, which is ~10 years ago or several revisions for these manufacturers already. These cars frequently go from zero crash rating to 4-5 stars overnight.

          > In this way, new lower income buyers are even more hidebound and conservative than buyers in developed markets.

          In developing nations and new money it’s perception that counts. Really poor people just buy scooters, or mini flatbeds for utility. So I guess it depends how 3rd world we’re talking about there.

          > Bertel may have had a lot of issues, but he knows something about the global market and the challenges new car makers are facing out there.

          Bertel pretty much just parrots what his drinking buddies tell him. That’s to be expected for someone who’s been in the business for so long and still can’t grasp how cars work mechanically.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > The newest Chery nevermind SAIC is not the QQ, which is ~10 years ago or several revisions for these manufacturers already. These cars frequently go from zero crash rating to 4-5 stars overnight.

            I’m pretty aware of what Chery sells. They sell here. And their better products aren’t what they use to try to break into the entry level market. The latest variant of the QQ, which is their bread and butter, is better than before but not especially appealing compared to Japanese cars that don’t cost all that much more.

            Chinese brands can and do build excellent cars. These excellent cars cost a lot of money compared to what they sell as entry-level vehicles.

            > In developing nations and new money it’s perception that counts. Really poor people just buy scooters, or mini flatbeds for utility. So I guess it depends how 3rd world we’re talking about there. <

            Commercial users buy secondhand kei trucks. Commuters upgrading from scooters are looking at small cars or secondhand Toyota and Honda subcompacts. A Kei truck is a terrible commuter. Hideous fuel economy for their size due to short gearing made for hauling loads.

            Like I said, poor, in this case, doesn't necessarily mean dumb. When you've had to work up from nothing to afford a car, you don't typically throw that money away on junk. This is something Bertel understands, because he lives out here. Like I've said, whatever his other faults, that analysis of the problems facing Chinese brands in Africa is correct.

            @Marcelo: In our case, the secondhand barrier has helped, but not enough.

            Our problem is that while everyone else was working on better and better incentives for local production in our region, we were dropping tax subsidies for popular locally made vans and arguing over whether or not to close the secondhand floodgates. Things are moving now, but it's a little too late for at least one manufacturer. Ford has up and moved, closing the only factory in this country to export cars to other markets.

            We're poised for growth. Brand new car sales have exceeded 200,000 units for the first time ever, last year, and several Chinese manufacturers (and possibly Tata) are looking to establish SKD or CKD assembly facilities here. I'm wary, though, about whether growth can be sustained. A lot of that record sales have come due to low interest financing (not as bad as in the US) and ultra-low downpayment schemes with ridiculous monthlies and high default levels.

            I've been trying to track default statistics, but obviously, the banks experiencing these defaults don't quite want to advertise the rate of default for auto loans. (at least not as a separate statistic).

          • 0 avatar

            > Like I said, poor, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean dumb. When you’ve had to work up from nothing to afford a car, you don’t typically throw that money away on junk.

            If that’s the case, then as mentioned you don’t live in a developing economy that car manufacturers care much about anyway.

            > This is something Bertel understands, because he lives out here.

            I don’t read his crap, but I do recall he lived in China (not Africa), the apex of new-money status seeking. I assure you they don’t buy used japanese cars there.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Manufacturers care about any market they can sell in. What experience do you have of emerging markets?

            Or are you just going to handwave away any of my arguments simply by saying my experience in researching and writing about the local industry (and that includes most of Asia) doesn’t count?

            I get you don’t like the guy, but seriously, in this case, he’s right.

            http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/wheeldeal/2008/12/19/chinese-cars-in-trouble/
            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324694904578597503321873598
            http://www.strategy-business.com/article/li00105?pg=all

            Granted, newer Chinese models ARE better (like I’ve said, they sell them here, and I get to test drive about a dozen new Chinese cars a year), and they’re gaining traction in some markets, but secondhand Japanese cars are still a big hurdle for them to overcome in many of the poorer ones.

          • 0 avatar

            > Manufacturers care about any market they can sell in. What experience do you have of emerging markets?

            Manufacturers care about markets they can sell profitably in. Markets where according to you people are saving up to buy used third tier japanese cars are not those.

            It seems the problem here isn’t one of emerging market experience but basic number comparison.

            > Or are you just going to handwave away any of my arguments simply by saying my experience in researching and writing about the local industry (and that includes most of Asia) doesn’t count?

            I’ve addressed every argument above yet don’t see any retort thus can only assume it was sufficiently done. For example, perhaps you have better information on Bertel’s whereabouts or the characteristics of new-money esp in his own “home” market or better evidence than blog posts from 2008 half of which don’t even mention china.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Manufacturers care about markets they can sell profitably in. Markets where according to you people are saving up to buy used third tier japanese cars are not those.

            The markets we’re talking about are markets in which other brands are selling profitably. And these are markets the Chinese want to enter, and which they need to in order to create the volume needed to fuel development costs.

            > It seems the problem here isn’t one of emerging market experience but basic number comparison.

            In other words, what?

            > I’ve addressed every argument above yet don’t see any retort thus can only assume it was sufficiently done.

            I’ve addressed your counter arguments by pointing out where they don’t apply to the situation mentioned. New-technology Chinese cars are not entry-level Chinese cars, and aren’t an effective means to gain a foothold in the African market. In more developed markets, yes, but in Africa, you need something cheap, durable and pleasing. Which the Chinese do not have.

            > For example, perhaps you have better information on Bertel’s whereabouts or the characteristics of new-money esp in his own “home” market or better evidence than blog posts from 2008 half of which don’t even mention china.

            Uh. Bertel is in Japan.

            His “home market” doesn’t count in this case, but in China, the best selling brands are mostly foreign (which is partly why the “local” brands are looking at emerging markets for expansion)

            And of the three posts I shared, only one is a blog post from 2008, and that one mentions Chinese cars specifically, another is a news item from 2013, and the other, which doesn’t mention Chinese cars, is a business editorial explaining the wheres and whyfors of the secondhand Japanese car trade, and how Japanese businesses pushed it to further their market share.

            And it also nicely explains why cheap and disposable doesn’t work in the car market… customer retention. Again, experience and history shows that customers might be tempted to spend on a Chinese brand ONCE… but the moment they get burned, that customer is lost forever.

            This is the challenge Chinese brands face, and why they cannot rely on price point alone to conquer developing markets.

          • 0 avatar

            > The markets we’re talking about are markets in which other brands are selling profitably.

            Nobody is selling profitably in a market of cut-rate used japanese cars, in your own analysis.

            > In other words, what?

            Prices are numbers.

            > In more developed markets, yes, but in Africa, you need something cheap, durable and pleasing. Which the Chinese do not have.

            Chinese makes outside of the big 4 are the epitome of cheap and durable, but marginally reliable. They mostly rely on their price and availability of cheap maintenance to sell in their own home market against ostensibly better GM/Mazda/etc, which I assure you can be purchased used.

            > And of the three posts I shared

            Of the three post you shared, one is about some podunk importer pulling of SA in 2008, another that’s behind a paywall, and another tl;dr business abstract about internal japanese econ. Did you randomly paste them from a google search?

            > but in China, the best selling brands are mostly foreign

            In china, the development policy is to JV with foreign brands and thus all the largest makers are partnerships. I would expect some professing some expertise in asia to know this.

            > And it also nicely explains why cheap and disposable doesn’t work in the car market… customer retention.

            I would also expect some “asia expert” to know that the central gov is well aware of this and restricts sales abroad until the cars are ready.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Nobody is selling profitably in a market of cut-rate used japanese cars, in your own analysis.

            Did I say nobody was selling profitably? I said, for anyone to make headway in the *entry-level* segment of the market, they would have to clamp down on secondhand imports.

            > Prices are numbers.

            So who’s comparing? If we’re talking about the buyers comparing, yes, that’s what they do.

            > Chinese makes outside of the big 4 are the epitome of cheap and durable, but marginally reliable. They mostly rely on their price and availability of cheap maintenance to sell in their own home market against ostensibly better GM/Mazda/etc, which I assure you can be purchased used.

            Semantics. Durability and reliability often go hand in hand. Unless we’re talking Land Rovers.

            > Of the three post you shared, one is about some podunk importer pulling of SA in 2008, another that’s behind a paywall, and another tl;dr business abstract about internal japanese econ. Did you randomly paste them from a google search?

            Why yes, yes I did. TL:DR helps illustrate how Japan built up the nearly cargo-cult adulation of Japanese machinery through the use of secondhand goods. An adulation that makes it harder for other companies and brands to compete. The “podunk” importer is there merely for the soundbite about secondhand Japanese cars, merely to show that this idea didn’t come solely from Bertel’s fevered imagination. The WSJ goes paywall on you when you browse too often, I suppose. Anyway, these are the relevant snippets:

            “Dong Yang, executive vice chairman and secretary-general of CAAM (China Association of Automobile Manufacturers), agreed the yen’s depreciation has impacted Chinese auto exports, but he wasn’t sure by how much. Chinese export vehicles compete with secondhand Japanese cars in some places such as Africa.”

            and, as for the reason Africa and other markets matter:

            “Chinese car makers captured 38% of the country’s passenger-vehicle sales in June, down from 47% at the end of last year. The figures suggest foreign-branded cars continue to dominate the market, pointing to problems for Chinese brands facing a market flush with auto factories.

            CLSA auto analyst Scott Laprise said some Chinese car makers had turned to export markets because they struggled to sell their cars at home. The country has about 140 domestic auto makers. “This approach is not sustainable,” he said. “Such auto makers will likely fail and could trigger the start of a downturn” for Chinese-banded cars, he said.”

            Joint ventures are a two way street. You get a leg-up, yes, but you could get that by simply licensing technology from outside, such as Foton does with Cummins. And in the meantime, you are surrendering much needed market share to foreign makers. Market share is important, because of customer retention and loyalty.

            Joint Ventures make money, but they don’t build local brands. To build local brands, the brand itself needs sales and development money.

            > I would also expect some “asia expert” to know that the central gov is well aware of this and restricts sales abroad until the cars are ready.

            I’m sorry, but the restrictions are laughable. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to the huge negative reception due to the unregulated motorcycle trade…. but it still doesn’t stop Chinese brands from making subpar products. It just stops them from exporting outright junk.

            I’ve been driving and reviewing Chinese cars for the past several years. They’re getting better, and in some cases, as with the BYD F5 or the Foton Tunland, they’re competitive with the mainstream, but again, *good* Chinese cars cost money. Many entry-level models are still the same, terribly outdated models in new duds. They need a good *cheap* car to break into emerging markets. That need is not going to change.

          • 0 avatar

            > Did I say nobody was selling profitably? I said, for anyone to make headway in the *entry-level* segment of the market, they would have to clamp down on secondhand imports.

            Sure, it always helps to have a lot less competition. How is this insightful?

            > So who’s comparing?

            We’re comparing used car prices to new car prices. I don’t think anyone disagrees that used cars from the first world are a good value.

            > Semantics. Durability and reliability often go hand in hand.

            Not necessarily. VW santanas aren’t the most reliable but last for quite a while.

            > CLSA auto analyst Scott Laprise said some Chinese car makers had turned to export markets because they struggled to sell their cars at home. The country has about 140 domestic auto makers.

            Chinese manufacturing has always been a story of overproduction capacity. That’s rather the point of the (rapid-)industrialization model. Too many brands is just a side-effect, same as early US. Markets consolidate as they mature.

            > Joint Ventures make money, but they don’t build local brands.

            Who cares? Levono just buys IBM stickers, just as Geely buys Volvo, just as LVMH buys Bulgari. It seems the chinese grasp this concept better than most.

            > Many entry-level models are still the same, terribly outdated models in new duds. They need a good *cheap* car to break into emerging markets.

            Is there something magical about the Alto that can’t be replicated in a country who even 2nd tier makers can turn out convincing mid-tier replicas just fine? You’re bitching about imports designed 2 gens ago by 3rd rate chinese makers that not even the emerging lower middle class there want to be caught dead in. Maybe you should check out the Geely Panda or such if they even bother exporting to this backwater.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Sure, it always helps to have a lot less competition. How is this insightful?

            So no retort. You started with:

            > Markets where according to you people are saving up to buy used third tier japanese cars are not those.

            I’ve outlined reasons why they want to go outside and mechanisms wherein they can ensure success abroad.

            > We’re comparing used car prices to new car prices. I don’t think anyone disagrees that used cars from the first world are a good value.

            Used cars from Japan are *perceived* as a good value. And this is what causes problems for manufacturers in places where imports are not widely restricted, as @Marcelo notes.

            > Not necessarily. VW santanas aren’t the most reliable but last for quite a while.

            Durability includes a whole lot more than simply the body. And even in those cases, *cheaper*+ Chinese cars fall short. Build issues and rust issues are common.

            +Note, new models are better. How much better they are over time, is not quite established yet.

            > Chinese manufacturing has always been a story of overproduction capacity. That’s rather the point of the (rapid-)industrialization model. Too many brands is just a side-effect, same as early US. Markets consolidate as they mature.

            While true, and I agree, the parallels are there, it’s not just the small brands that are looking overseas to build volume. The bigger brands are the most bullish about it. You can’t become a GM or a VW in your own market if you’re competing with the real deal.

            > Who cares? Levono just buys IBM stickers, just as Geely buys Volvo, just as LVMH buys Bulgari. It seems the chinese grasp this concept better than most.

            The Chinese corporations care. Hence all the money spent on their own research and development capacity and overseas expansion. Chinese corporations that buy entire brands (Geely – Volvo) do so to bolster the bottom line, but they aren’t giving up building Geely cars to focus on Volvo, now, are they? Apparently, they *don’t* grasp this concept as well as you state.

            Lenovo doesn’t buy IBM stickers. They bought out the entire PC building arm of IBM and rebranded it as Lenovo

            Geely isn’t going to rebrand its mass-market cars as Volvos. That’s too upmarket a brand.

            > Is there something magical about the Alto that can’t be replicated in a country who even 2nd tier makers can turn out convincing mid-tier replicas just fine? You’re bitching about imports designed 2 gens ago by 3rd rate chinese makers that not even the emerging lower middle class there want to be caught dead in. Maybe you should check out the Geely Panda or such if they even bother exporting to this backwater.Manufacturers care about markets they can sell profitably in.

            The Alto has a brand name. And a vast network of used parts and mechanics familiar with the platform. It’s honestly, a terrible car, but it’s durable and reliable. Market penetration outside of its home market, however, is beset by the same problems the Chinese face: competition with secondhand Japanese-made cars.

            I’ve driven the Geely Panda. It’s more refined, bigger and more powerful. But it’s heavy as a brick, has terrible engine programming (lag, surge, poor high-rpm performnace), a wonky shift action, soggy brakes and a tiny back seat. It’s the best Chinese super-mini I’ve driven yet (still lined up for the new QQ), but it’s still not a convincing argument over a seven year old Corolla.

            Backwater. So it’s come to ad regionem arguments? The Philippines is a terrible market to sell cars in. Or was, once. Sales just broke through the 200k barrier for the first time last year (though again, partly due to easy credit) and several Chinese and the two major Indian manufacturers are setting up assembly facilities here. The only majors who don’t sell here are Renault and Citroen. Peugeot and VW have come back in recently, Rolls Royce and Bentley have just set up shop. It’s a small market, but there’s mobility in the middle class and upper class that’s encouraging manufacturers to come in.

            The African experience is similar to what this country went through in the 80’s and 90’s, with some of the same challenges. That entire continent is a backwater, so if my experience is from a backwater, wouldn’t it be more relevant than any glib assumptions about it?

            This argument started because you expressed disbelief that secondhand Japanese cars could be any threat to the Chinese setting up there. I provided links that showed that Bertel’s sentiment is not uncommon. Marcelo also expressed his distaste of secondhand Japanese and the put forward the idea that they hurt markets. One of the crowing points of the Chinese in their expansion in the lower Americas is that they’re taking some sales away from these secondhands.

            These sentiments are not unknown to me, as one of my investigative reports for the magazine last year was on secondhand Japanese imports. My argument was that the market could live with them if they were taxed properly (ergo, any taxes affecting brand new cars should be applied to them in full. This would have raised prices about $2k for the cheapest ones, bring prices up to local secondhand levels).

            Outside of the United States, secondhand Japanese cars are big business. Even more so in Africa, where Japanese exporters can dump them with impunity. And if you’re looking at selling there, you will have to deal with that issue, sooner or later.

          • 0 avatar

            > So no retort.

            It’s pretty clear you didn’t understand the point from the start. The used cars you’re speaking of are a few k usd. There’s no money and no point in manufacturing a new car of comparable quality for that much, it’s physically impossible. The same is true for all used durable goods from the first world.

            This is inherent to the nature of how these prices (ie numbers) work, because the consumption habits of wealthier people are not going to change anytime soon. Even bertel isn’t that dumb, which is why he’s speaking of *new* low-end toyota products; it’s you who’s tossing out the canard of second-hand from the first world.

            > The Chinese corporations care. Hence all the money spent on their own research and development capacity and overseas expansion.

            It’s not surprising you still don’t get this either. What consumers buy is the label perception; they don’t actually run scientific experiments on the product to test for quality:

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/psa-donfeng-deal-injects-new-capital-extended-life-into-peugeot/#comment-2817961

            > Lenovo doesn’t buy IBM stickers. They bought out the entire PC building arm of IBM and rebranded it as Lenovo

            No, I assure you Lenovo’s sizable manufacturing capacity existed well before the acquisition and they were probably making most IBM’s anyway. What they got was a couple offices of Thinkpad designers and perhaps marketing staff, and the IBM’s good name and customer base to use for a few years. For most folks this wouldn’t be worth billions, but for Lenovo it was: a winning combo for both parties.

            > Geely isn’t going to rebrand its mass-market cars as Volvos. That’s too upmarket a brand.

            Same deal there; not all lenovos are “IBM”s, but the Levono Thinkpad brushes off well.

            > Backwater. So it’s come to ad regionem arguments? The Philippines is a terrible market to sell cars in. Or was, once.

            Sure, once it was, now that a few more people start getting rich they’re no longer content buying used goods.

            The issue here was one endemic to car enthusiasts/forums: why buy new when used is a better deal? That’s why car makers would be wise to not give a damn about people who don’t buy what they make anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > It’s pretty clear you didn’t understand the point from the start. The used cars you’re speaking of are a few k usd. There’s no money and no point in manufacturing a new car of comparable quality for that much, it’s physically impossible. The same is true for all used durable goods from the first world.

            The Chinese aren’t building down to that price point. But at the price point the Chinese ARE building to, they’re facing tough competition from Japanese secondhands. Chinese manufacturers see them as competition. Buyers can and DO cross shop them.

            > It’s not surprising you still don’t get this either. What consumers buy is the label perception; they don’t actually run scientific experiments on the product to test for quality:

            I know they do. That’s why secondhands are a problem. Buyers are trading the “security” of a brand new purchase for the perception that a secondhand car will give them less trouble because of the brand.

            > The issue here was one endemic to car enthusiasts/forums: why buy new when used is a better deal? That’s why car makers would be wise to not give a damn about people who don’t buy what they make anyway.

            Here is where the misunderstanding between us arises We’re not talking American enthusiasts and cheapskates here. It’s a different situation from a relatively mature market like the United States… we’re talking developing markets in which buyer preferences are still forming. We’re talking about foreign car buyers who are not enthusiasts. These are normal motorists that these brands are looking to capture as continuing customers.

            Outside of the USA, again, the secondhand Japanese car trade is a cult that does capture a large part of the market, and yes, there are ordinary customers who cross-shop these with brand new cars. (I get a lot of these questions on our local forum and website)

            I mentioned the investigative report I wrote on the trade, well, I came to the same conclusion as you in that report, that the major car manufacturers shouldn’t care about people who buy secondhand. That’s because a person who buys a secondhand Toyota is not the same customer who buys one brand new.

            But the case is different for the Chinese. Because they’re trying to build brand perception and volume, and they do need to capture these customers. Whether that’s a smart idea, or whether they should just duke it out with the Japanese at the price levels those sell at, well, that’s their problem, but the reality is that this is what they compete against in the market, and it hurts them, because it counts against them in market share. Once these buyers graduate to the next level, their brand loyalties will have been set by previous experience and word of mouth.

            Whether it is wise or not to do this is not the point. The point is, you expressed disbelief that secondhand Japanese cars are affecting the sales of brand new Chinese cars in Africa. I’ve presented arguments and cited articles that say they do. Arguing as to whether it makes business sense for the Chinese to pursue these markets is beside the point. They’re pursuing, and it’s affecting them.

            That is all.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            And whether it makes sense to build down to that price or not, many entry level Chinese vehicles DO cost about as much as a secondhand Japanese car. Chery came barreling into our market with a compact-midsizer costing about as much as a four or five year old Corolla. Foton’s lead-off was a pick-up that cost about as much as a secondhand Hilux. Geely’s supermini came in at about half-the-price of a comparable Korean or Japanese supermini.

            When you price your cars like that, yes, people will cross-shop them with secondhand cars.

          • 0 avatar

            > But at the price point the Chinese ARE building to, they’re facing tough competition from Japanese secondhands.

            This should make the point very clear: “at the price point the *Japanese* ARE building to, they’re facing tough competition from Japanese secondhands.”

            Note the articles at hand refer to Toyota’s interest in entering the market, ostensibly not with used cars. This competition to Chinese makers is *orthogonal* to used-vs-new, and should be treated separately given “new” obviously includes everyone else, too.

            > But the case is different for the Chinese. Because they’re trying to build brand perception and volume, and they do need to capture these customers.

            This is where the discussion of just buying labels is relevant. Americans now cross-shop Lenovo & Dell & HP, even if the latter are ostensibly assembled in the US instead of china.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I would presume that the new Toyotas will continue to sell at higher price points than most of the new Chinese cars.

            Toyota is selling to the small segment of the total car market that can afford to pay new car prices, and doesn’t compete directly with used cars that carry a lower price (and that presumably carry lower status.) In contrast, the Chinese are trying to gain a foothold by competing head-on against the used car market. If this was the US circa 1986, then it would be Toyota vs. Yugo.

            Meanwhile, there is a regular flood of JDM used cars entering the world market. They need a home and they’re priced right, so it’s easy to guess who would want to buy most of them.

          • 0 avatar

            > In contrast, the Chinese are trying to gain a foothold by competing head-on against the used car market. If this was the US circa 1986, then it would be Toyota vs. Yugo.

            The Chinese are going for the appeal of a new car same as a cheap low end Toyota vs a used Toyota. The 1986 example would be a Hyundai Excel priced a few k less than a Corolla, except they’re improving at an even faster pace. Some low end provincial makes (unpopular even in china) do still build some really crappy cars, but the gov is both actively restricting those exports AND not-quite-there higher end products for that very reason.

            New cars do overlap against used cars, but again there’s a difference in kind in that comparison. A new sub-corolla can’t compete against a used corolla/miata/phaeton and every car enthusiast site reminds us of this.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Also, yes, used and new… big difference, etcetera. What you don’t seem willing to accept is that China Inc. *still* sells very cheap cars at a price point that matches up with used Japanese cars, and that these cars are *still* at a quality level below that which would entice customers. And while there are nicer Chinese cars now (which, if may I remind you, I have also driven), at the time the Chinese started looking at other markets, they were selling this older generation of cars.

            > This should make the point very clear: “at the price point the *Japanese* ARE building to, they’re facing tough competition from Japanese secondhands.”

            No, they’re not. Because the buyers are almost completely different. Also, a strong market for used Toyotas actually has a knock-on effect of making brand new Toyotas more appealing to first buyers, beyond the brand recognition, it’s the thought that when you sell the car, you will be able to sell it faster and for more money. (However much I agree or disagree with that sentiment, it is very common amongst Toyota buyers)

            > Note the articles at hand refer to Toyota’s interest in entering the market, ostensibly not with used cars. This competition to Chinese makers is *orthogonal* to used-vs-new, and should be treated separately given “new” obviously includes everyone else, too.

            We were talking about this article:

            http://dailykanban.com/2014/04/03/what-car-market-is-dominated-by-toyota-try-africa/?doing_wp_cron=1397597896.0444240570068359375000

            Which refers to the Chinese as such:

            **“African consumers basically are the same as anywhere else in the world. African consumers are extremely quality conscious. The biggest mistake yon can make in Africa is to sell something inferior.”

            That lesson had been ignored by Chinese automakers who thought that in Africa, they would not have to contend with entrenched opposition, and that those poor people would not mind a little poor quality as long as it is cheap.**

            To which you replied:

            > Poor people are the perfect market for cheap & subpar build quality. Low labor costs imply cheap repairs and low value for time lost.

            Which is not true on several levels. Beyond what has been discussed, low labor costs do not defray the expenses incurred in buying spare parts. Spare parts for brand new cars which are in limited supply and must be shipped from China, as opposed to a stockpile of surplus Toyota parts that are already on hand.

            Most poor people do NOT plan on buying something breakable that cannot be fixed for cheap.

            My original issue was with this statement, however orthogonal it may be to the article we’re replying in.

          • 0 avatar

            > at the time the Chinese started looking at other markets, they were selling this older generation of cars

            It’s worth pointing out that china has about the most diverse set of buyers & makers atm, so you’re going to be have to be more specific.

            > No, they’re not. Because the buyers are almost completely different.

            So the used toyota & new low end toyota buyers are completely different, but used toyota and chinese car buyers are the same. Unless of course those used toyota buyers are going to buy new toyotas due to label recognition. Lol.

            > Which is not true on several levels. Beyond what has been discussed,

            Claiming it’s not true has no effect on objective reality. The current crop of moderate cost chinese cars sell abundantly well again used japanese cars in china.

            > Spare parts for brand new cars which are in limited supply and must be shipped from China, as opposed to a stockpile of surplus Toyota parts that are already on hand.

            A significant portion of those Toyota replacement parts are probably made in china anyway. Where do you suppose those are shipped from?

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > It’s worth pointing out that china has about the most diverse set of buyers & makers atm, so you’re going to be have to be more specific.

            Don’t see where we started talking about Chinese buyers and not African buyers. But more specific about what? Are you asking for a complete breakdown of every single Chinese model offered in Africa over the past twenty years?

            > So the used toyota & new low end toyota buyers are completely different, but used toyota and chinese car buyers are the same. Unless of course those used toyota buyers are going to buy new toyotas due to label recognition. Lol.

            Mostly, yes, because the difference in market segment and vehicle type between new T and used T at the same price point is quite large. Whereas a used T and a brand new Chinese car are often within the same size range and market segment.

            And if these buyers graduate up the economic scale, yes. If they don’t, they still have a word-of-mouth effect on the buying habits of other buyers. Which is where quality becomes important.

            > Claiming it’s not true has no effect on objective reality. The current crop of moderate cost chinese cars sell abundantly well again used japanese cars in china.

            Again, when did we start talking about sales in mainland China? Why the need to change the context of the discussion if we’re discussing objective reality in Africa? And how applicable is it to the African situation when China actively restricts the importation of secondhand cars for resale?

            http://export.gov/China/doingbizinchina/industryinfo/transportation/index.asp

            > A significant portion of those Toyota replacement parts are probably made in china anyway. Where do you suppose those are shipped from?

            Japanese used car exports include more than just whole cars. They include replacement parts pulled off of crashed cars and junked cars. (though really, if you’re installing a secondhand water pump or thermostat, you’re asking for trouble).

            And the large volume of secondhands already in place creates more parts availability from those that get junked.

            Chinese spares are an option in China and in nearby Asian countries, as China (apparently) prohibits the importation of refurbished car parts from Japan (as part of the aforementioned ban on secondhand cars, machinery, electrical equipment and etcetera). In Africa, well, I don’ t rightly know, because I’ve never had to buy a replacement radiator in Africa (though to be honest, do you expect a brand new China-made and imported radiator to cost as little as a locally refurbished secondhand one benefitting from those low labor costs you mentioned?)

            In the end, Chinese car sales will improve and perhaps either match or exceed Japanese secondhand import sales in the African continent. But that doesn’t mean they don’t compete against them. Even the most cheerily optimistic reports of Chinese car sales on that continent will touch upon that subject.

            http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2014-01/17/content_17241262.htm

            http://www.focac.org/eng/zfgx/t813155.htm

            And… I’m done. If you’d like to discuss Chinese versus secondhands in China (which didn’t really have a big secondhand market until fairly recently, so the effects of secondhand Japanese and VW cars on new car sales have only just started), or Brand new Japanese versus secondhand Japanese, that’s outside the scope of this discussion, really.

          • 0 avatar

            > But more specific about what? Are you asking for a complete breakdown of every single Chinese model offered in Africa over the past twenty years?

            No, I’m asking someone pulling from Chinese car this and Chinese export that to be more specific given the vast industry range from backyard makers to multi-nationals.

            > Mostly, yes, because the difference in market segment and vehicle type between new T and used T at the same price point is quite large. Whereas a used T and a brand new Chinese car are often within the same size range and market segment.

            Yes, I can understand that the very crappiest possible chinese cars designed 10 years ago & made in some shed price competitive with first-world-retired cars. Then there are the mid-tier chinese cars rather competitive with 2nd rate cheap cars like the Alto. Then there are the next gen of chinese cars which be largely on par with existing JV designs, which will likely still cost less much like Korean cars do now.

            Again, none of this is new. Cheapish new cars compete with used car in every single mature market on earth. The fact that cheapish new cars exist is compelling evidence that there’s a significant market for them.

            > Again, when did we start talking about sales in mainland China? Why the need to change the context of the discussion if we’re discussing objective reality in Africa?

            As evidence new chinese built cars sell just fine alongside used foreign designs.

            > And how applicable is it to the African situation when China actively restricts the importation of secondhand cars for resale?

            There exist “japanese” cars (eg Mazda 3) built in chinese JVs and thus presumably used versions of these, along with used samples of basically every significant manufacturer on earth.

            > Chinese spares are an option in China and in nearby Asian countries, as China (apparently) prohibits the importation of refurbished car parts into Japan.

            I don’t think you understand what it means when, say, mazda 3 parts built in china are shipped everywhere in the world. Significant amounts of auto parts in general (incl Aston Martin apparently) are made in china.

            In case you haven’t noticed, importing things from china is pretty common around the globe.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > No, I’m asking someone pulling from Chinese car this and Chinese export that to be more specific given the vast industry range from backyard makers to multi-nationals.

            You want an in-depth research into cars sold in China beyond the fact that they’ve been selling their older cars there for the past twenty years?

            > Yes, I can understand that the very crappiest possible chinese cars designed 10 years ago & made in some shed price competitive with first-world-retired cars. Then there are the mid-tier chinese cars rather competitive with 2nd rate cheap cars like the Alto. Then there are the next gen of chinese cars which be largely on par with existing JV designs, which will likely still cost less much Korean cars do now.

            Modern Chinese car designs cost less than the Koreans in some parts, cost nearly the same in others.

            > Again, none of this is new. Cheapish new cars compete with used car in every single mature market on earth. The fact that cheapish new cars exist is compelling evidence that a significant market for them.

            So why do you have an issue with the contention that they’re an issue facing Chinese manufacturers in Africa, then?

            > As evidence new chinese built cars sell just fine alongside used foreign designs.

            > There exist “japanese” cars (eg Mazda 3) built in chinese JVs and thus presumably used versions of these, along with used samples of basically every significant manufacturer on earth.

            These have only started to enter the used car market in volume within the last year or two. Any widespread effects on Chinese manufacturers themselves won’t be seen for quite a while.

            > I don’t think you understand what it means when, say, mazda 3 parts built in china are shipped everywhere in the world. Significant amounts of auto parts in general (incl Aston Martin apparently) are made in china.

            I don’t think you understand what it means when Japanese secondhand cars AND parts are exported in bulk around the world. You’re saying the choice (whether only or best, I can’t infer from your previous statement) for spare parts is to get them from China.

            > In case you haven’t noticed, importing things from china is pretty common around the globe.

            As is importing secondhand cars from Japan. Except where it’s illegal or where import restrictions and taxes makes it difficult.

          • 0 avatar

            > You want an in-depth research into cars sold in China beyond the fact that they’ve been selling their older cars there for the past twenty years?

            No, I want someone making sweeping claims about an incredibly varied industry to be specific what they’re talking about. “American software sure is buggy, lol”.

            > Modern Chinese car designs cost less than the Koreans in some parts, cost nearly the same in others.

            Consider when the Excel started being exported, cars barely existed in china. Connect the dots seems to produce clear trends similar to the manufacture of everything else.

            > So why do you have an issue with the contention that they’re an issue facing Chinese manufacturers in Africa, then?

            Because of the claim that it’s a uniquely worthwhile statement. I guess “it’s the same as it is everywhere else” doesn’t sell.

            > These have only started to enter the used car market in volume within the last year or two. Any widespread effects on Chinese manufacturers themselves won’t be seen for quite a while.

            Again, JV’s producing ostensibly better cars than the locals have been there since the start in china. The start in china was more than a couple years ago.

            > I don’t think you understand what it means when Japanese secondhand cars AND parts are exported in bulk around the world. You’re saying the choice (whether only or best, I can’t infer from your previous statement) for spare parts is to get them from China.

            I’m saying that shipping car parts (and everything else) from china is the norm around the world and not in any way a hardship.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @u mad scientist
            Actually the Chinese are the exploring and implement a vehicle design model unlike the ‘West’.

            The Chinese have vehicle design centres that cater for any manufacturer. They can design, develop and have a vehicle in production in approximately 15 months.

            I do think much of your commentary is very subjective. Why don’t you do some research.

            Google can be your friend. But be careful not everything on the net is true.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Trying to recall, Big Al… which manufacturer that was that set the 18 month targets, whether it was Foton or Great Wall… The development centers are impressive, and China is also developing its own set of third party developers that specialize in design (such as the one Geely tapped to do the Panda/LC). Some exciting stuff. The question really, is not if the Chinese will achieve quality parity, but when. Often times, the improvements that occur even within the same vehicle from one model year to another is quite impressive.

            > No, I want someone making sweeping claims about an incredibly varied industry to be specific what they’re talking about. “American software sure is buggy, lol”.

            I’ve not the time to actually do an inventory, though I know for a fact Foton sold the horrific Blizzard there (based on an outdated Isuzu design. Isuzu-based engines were decently reliable, but body integrity and build quality were rubbish.

            Then there’s the Gonow, which was cited in one of the provided references, if you feel like reading through… though it’s also covered here:

            http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120517/china-africa-cars-autos

            * A South African car reviewer recently showered it with relative praise. “Cheap and not at all nasty,” said the headline. The reviewer noted the usual reputation of Chinese cars in Africa: “rubbish” quality, “appalling” design and a disturbing smell of glue.

            * Chinese automakers must overcome this credibility problem as they ramp up exports and build new assembly plants in Africa, in an attempt to maintain growth despite sluggish car sales back home.

            * Call it the “fong kong” curse — a slang term in South Africa for cheap made-in-China products that fall apart soon after purchase. Zimbabweans similarly call low-quality Chinese products “zhing zhong.”

            Well, of course, it’s another journalist, who’s probably also incorrect, in your eyes, so from the horse’s mouth:

            * GWM SA (Great Wall Motors South Africa) MD Henri Meistre says: “The biggest hurdle that the company is striving to overcome is other Chinese brands.” Quality issues, poor service 
and parts backup have created 
a negative peception of Chinese-manufactured vehicles. Con-
sumers are more willing in good times to take a chance with a lesser known, affordable brand; however, when things get tight, consumers become risk averse and rather buy a second-hand known brand than an unknown, new Chinese model, whose ser-
vice and reliability are unknown. “Until all Chinese brands show their long-term commitment and attain a reputation for reliability, vehicles from China may be tarred with the same brush,” Meistre adds.

            http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/local-vehicle-importer-overcomes-chinese-brand-perceptions-2009-02-20

            > Consider when the Excel started being exported, cars barely existed in china. Connect the dots seems to produce clear trends similar to the manufacture of everything else.

            I have never disputed Chinese cars are getting better. The issue at hand is negative perception issues caused by older Chinese cars and lower quality ones that were exported in the past.

            > Because of the claim that it’s a uniquely worthwhile statement. I guess “it’s the same as it is everywhere else” doesn’t sell.

            So you agree that the original statement is factually correct? Of course, it *isn’t( the same as everywhere else. Again: mature / captured markets are vastly different from developing ones.

            > Again, JV’s producing ostensibly better cars than the locals have been there since the start in china. The start in china was more than a couple years ago.

            The volume in secondhands is still well short of brand new volumes in China. It’s not a mature market (but it is a captured one)

            > I’m saying that shipping car parts (and everything else) from china is the norm around the world and not in any way a hardship.

            There’s a difference between parts for common cars and parts for a new brand. Local suppliers are less likely to stock parts for uncommon cars, which raises costs for the customers.

            Again, from:

            http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120517/china-africa-cars-autos

            *Chinese carmakers also fall short in after-sales care. Customers in Africa complain of a lack of available spare parts.

            This one is a familiar issue to me, as it was one of the factors that spelled the death-knell of the first official foray of Chery into our market. They’re back, rebuilding, but bad reputations are hard to overcome.

            Reality. I’ve presented my evidence, all you’ve presented are generalizations that may or may not apply in vastly different markets and regions. And that’s all there is to it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @niky
            The Chinese also had difficulty hydroforming up until recently and forming aluminium body panels as simple as a hood.

            But with the purchasing of overseas companies like Volvo etc the Chinese are importing technology.

            The UAW will also cringe at what the Chinese are doing in their factories. Great Wall has invested hugely into automation.

            The link below is what the US, Japanese and Europeans should be scared of.

            The Chinese will beat us at our own game.

            http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/the-march-of-robots-into-chinese-factories

          • 0 avatar

            > They can design, develop and have a vehicle in production in approximately 15 months.

            There’s a conserved & dependent amount of work in vehicle development. This isn’t really a subject for someone with no technical capacity.

            > I do think much of your commentary is very subjective.

            “think”, lol.

            > Google can be your friend. But be careful not everything on the net is true.

            So ironic.

          • 0 avatar

            > Trying to recall, Big Al… which manufacturer that was that set the 18 month targets, whether it was Foton or Great Wall…

            These targets don’t necessary mean the same amount of work that takes longer elsewhere. The more aggressive makers are quite willing to cut verification and use customers instead.

            > I’ve not the time to actually do an inventory, though I know for a fact Foton sold the horrific Blizzard there (based on an outdated Isuzu design. Isuzu-based engines were decently reliable, but body integrity and build quality were rubbish.

            This isn’t what was meant by providing context for sweeping statements. Perhaps the issue is with comprehending what context is. Might as well quote the same sources from history for japanese or korean products during their developmental stages.

            Consider that the Panda mentioned is already 5 years old, and extrapolate diff from the QQ 10 years ago.

            > I have never disputed Chinese cars are getting better. The issue at hand is negative perception issues caused by older Chinese cars and lower quality ones that were exported in the past.

            This would be a cogent point if the japanese/korean/etc examples weren’t illustrative. If anything the koreans exported subpar cars for far longer.

            > So you agree that the original statement is factually correct? Of course, it *isn’t( the same as everywhere else. Again: mature / captured markets are vastly different from developing ones.

            The original statement is pointless. For example, if someone makes the claim that niky is a clueless journalist, this can mean that journalists are clueless of which niky is just one average example, or that niky is esp. clueless even among journalists. The former doesn’t make for an article other than what’s called link-bait.

            Also, mature markets are not vastly different (certainly not in kind) on the issue of used vs new, expect maybe new-money in developing markets put even more emphasis on status.

            > The volume in secondhands is still well short of brand new volumes in China. It’s not a mature market (but it is a captured one)

            That’s in considerable part because car-buying is a popular form of status-seeking there. Buying someone else’s hand-me-down is status suicide among some groups.

            > This one is a familiar issue to me, as it was one of the factors that spelled the death-knell of the first official foray of Chery into our market. They’re back, rebuilding, but bad reputations are hard to overcome.

            It’s not worth reinterating on half-ass attempts by QQ-tier makes 10 years ago.

            > Reality. I’ve presented my evidence, all you’ve presented are generalizations that may or may not apply in vastly different markets and regions. And that’s all there is to it.

            Your evidence is apparently some local podunk imports from which you evidently can’t draw the larger picture. Ok, we know your friends or whatever don’t like chinese cars same as some americans supposedly sworn off after far longer contact with Korean cars and would rather get used Japanese ones instead. Perpetual failure of Korean autos here, right?

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > These targets don’t necessary mean the same amount of work that takes longer elsewhere. The more aggressive makers are quite willing to cut verification and use customers instead.

            Geely outsourced work for the Panda to a development specialist inside China that used software verification to create a chassis within a short frame of time, using fewer prototypes than typical, which passed crash testing pretty well on the Chinese NCAP. No disagreement here that they typically take shortcuts in reliability testing and long-term testing, though some Chinese makes are more conscientious than others.

            >This isn’t what was meant by providing context for sweeping statements. Perhaps the issue is with comprehending what context is. Might as well quote the same sources from history for japanese or korean products during their developmental stages.

            Sweeping statements regarding older cars which, from the links I’ve given you, the customers, importers and auto-executives found wanting? Do tell. The context is all there if you’re willing to read just a little bit. Pretty easy to argue when you’re not being asked for proof, yourself, right?

            > Consider that the Panda mentioned is already 5 years old, and extrapolate diff from the QQ 10 years ago.

            Again: I have never disputed Chinese cars are getting better. The issue at hand is negative perception issues caused by older Chinese cars and lower quality ones that were exported in the past.

            > This would be a cogent point if the japanese/korean/etc examples weren’t illustrative. If anything the koreans exported subpar cars for far longer.

            Which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Africa and Chinese cars.

            > The original statement is pointless. Blah blah blah blah.

            In other words, can’t refute, might as well take potshots. You questioned the veracity of the original statement, now you’re saying it’s meaningless, even though it’s a concern echoed directly by Chinese auto executives specifically for the African market.

            > Also, mature markets are not vastly different (certainly not in kind) on the issue of used vs new, expect maybe new-money in developing markets put even more emphasis on status.

            I’m sorry, they sell six thousand dollar brand new Chinese cars there? And you have lax certification laws that allow the sale of these six thousand dollar cars?

            > That’s in considerable part because car-buying is a popular form of status-seeking there. Buying someone else’s hand-me-down is status suicide among some groups.

            No, that’s because the supply isn’t there yet. And Chinese consumers are perfectly happy buying secondhand foreign cars. A secondhand luxury car is still a luxury car, to status seeking buyers in China.

            > It’s not worth reinterating on half-ass attempts by QQ-tier makes 10 years ago.

            Try six. And why is it not relevant to the African situation if we’re discussing the history of past Chinese forays into the continent?

            > Your evidence is apparently some local podunk imports from which you evidently can’t draw the larger picture.

            Give the man a cookie for not reading. I’ve driven over a dozen of the major export models of several of the larger car manufacturers over the past several years. Chery, Lifan, JAC, Foton, Great Wall, Geely, Haima, BYD. These are not “podunk importers”. These are the big names in China, and some of the biggest spenders in terms of R&D. Of course, can’t let facts get in the way of a good argument, right?

            Oh, remind me again… HOW many Chinese cars have you driven? HOW many Chinese car company executives have you talked to? And HOW many Chinese (branded) cars are on sale where you are?

            > Ok, we know your friends or whatever don’t like chinese cars same as some americans supposedly sworn off after far longer contact with Korean cars and would rather get used Japanese ones instead. Perpetual failure of Korean autos here, right?

            I’m not going to bother answering that, as you obviously choose to ignore the fact that I’ve stated repeatedly that the Chinese are improving and may someday achieve parity. I’m not going to bother reposting the links with soundbites and direct quotes from African journalists, car executives and analysts, as you obviously would rather talk in circles, so we’re pretty much done here, unless you’d like me to keep re-pasting quotes.

            * GWM SA (Great Wall Motors South Africa) MD Henri Meistre says: “The biggest hurdle that the company is striving to overcome is other Chinese brands.” Quality issues, poor service 
and parts backup have created 
a negative peception of Chinese-manufactured vehicles. Consumers are more willing in good times to take a chance with a lesser known, affordable brand; however, when things get tight, consumers become risk averse and rather buy a second-hand known brand than an unknown, new Chinese model, whose service and reliability are unknown. “Until all Chinese brands show their long-term commitment and attain a reputation for reliability, vehicles from China may be tarred with the same brush,” Meistre adds.

            CTRL-C CTRL-V is a lot easier than typing insults, you know.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @niky
            You do have some on the North American continent that flatly refuse to believe in the rise of China. How can this be??

            They display this type of attitude as a defensive mechnanism, to make themselves fell more comfortable and secure.

            You see this when debating full size pickups. They flatly refuse to believe that their are products outside of the US that are comparable and maybe in some instances even better.

            These people need to venture outside of the US institution and explore. There is a fantastic world out there for these people to learn from.

            They don’t realise that the aspiration of people in countries like yours, China, Brasil and the other 200 or so is to have a better life.

            Some countries do have a better life than the people of the US.

            The US like China are very large and influential economies, but not always the best. But they do offer the world many opportunities as well.

            Maybe these guys are selfish. This selfishness like u mad scientist, Pch101, Dim and the others makes them ignorant and unreceptive to what is real and what isn’t.

          • 0 avatar

            > You do have some on the North American continent that flatly refuse to believe in the rise of China. How can this be??

            > Maybe these guys are selfish. This selfishness like u mad scientist,

            There’s no need to provide more supporting evidence you can’t read.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    thats a landcruiser 70 isnt it? the one that doesnt meet ncap or euro?

    not that it matters in africa

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Land_Cruiser_(J70)

      A regular on the roads, trails and outback of Australia. Took over the market that the Land Rover previously filled.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @cpthaddock
        Landcruiser pickups got their name when Theiss imported a $hitload when constructing the Snowy Mountains River Project.

        They were found to be extremely cheap and reliable.

        It’s a pity that most other Toyotas are over rated and on par with lesser vehicles.

        Toyota worked hard to build a good name and now builds very average cars, with low specs and charges a premium for them.

        Toyota should move back to their original ideology. I think GM is trying to emulate Toyota, but GM build quality isn’t like Toyotas were. GM needs quality to survive, starting with quality exectutives and managers.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Niky,
      New Zealand is another market for the Japanese “Grey Trade” People prefer the Japanese secondhand vehicles in preference to any Chinese what ever. JAC , Great Wall and Foton Chinese Pickup and Truck makers have all failed in Australia. Quality was substandard and their products blatant copies of the Japanese.

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        They could make a comeback. Or not. The last Great Wall Wingle I drove was much better than the previous model. And Foton’s Tunland is almost comparable to the lower tier Japanese in terms of build quality, while the mechanicals of the Tunland are pretty good.

        Some people have expressed doubts as to the reliability of Cummin’s Chinese-made engines, but I haven’t seen any widespread reports of issues with this new generation.

        I still haven’t met a JAC I like. ;)

        The Chinese might just achieve technical parity with the mainstream within the decade. The last BYD I drove had a turbocharged 1.5 and a dual-clutch. And a remote fob you can use to turtle the car along in the parking lot. (there’s a popular “ghost car” GIF showing off this very feature) The trick will be to convince people that they’ve done so and to convince them that Chinese quality issues are a thing of the past.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Those tires don’t look very promising for that terrain, just sayin.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      Those tires have tread. That’s a step up from most tires on mass transit Hiluxes found outside Egypt.

      You’d probably have an above-average chance of living to see another day in this Land Cruiser.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      They are essentially truck tires, tough as nails and they will go anywhere forever. The narrow tires will cut through mud to the hard pack surface underneath and they will not build up a wall in front of them in soft sand. On sharp rocky surfaces a wide tire is vulnerable in the center of the tread to puncturing so these tires will not puncture easily.
      Also they are cheaper to make and it’s less space to carry spares.
      Trust me this is the tire you need in the horrific conditions these vehicles will face daily.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, but they don’t make me look cool, which is the primary purpose of a truck, so what’s the point?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Narrow tires just don’t make much sense in sand.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Hummer @Beerboy has it right,a lot of sand dunes in Australia

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Hmm… Are we talking compacted sand or loose sand? For some reason I want to say having width means your on top of the sand rather than in it, maybe not… Our beaches say to lower air pressure before driving, I figured that meant to increase surface area.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Yep Hummer. Big soft tires for mud and soft sand. Narrow tires for compact dirt and dry snow. That is what I was taught anyway, by a Goodyear factory rep. When you have a mix, well, you compromise or go with what you encounter most frequently.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Compacted sand no problems, you get that more often than really loose sand. If loose sand the only terrain go for balloon tyres.They are not real good on most Off Road tracks, puncture easily.

            http://www.4-wheeling-in-western-australia.com/images/land-cruiser-sand-dunes.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I can’t ever remember having a situation with compacted sand, unless in a stream. But then again I’ve never been to Australia, different places different challenges.
            I’ve found worn out A/T (bfg) to work well on our beaches, there not that wide at 35×12.5 (315×70) but not having deep lugs to get you sunk is nice, just drop the pressure to 20-25 and your pretty good.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “I’ve found worn out A/T (bfg) to work well on our beaches, there not that wide at 35×12.5 (315×70) but not having deep lugs to get you sunk is nice, just drop the pressure to 20-25 and your pretty good.”

            Can do that as well,but very loose soft sand and lots of it balloon tyres otherwise compromises work well.

  • avatar
    TheyBeRollin

    Just a presence in South Africa? The Toyota Hilux, from the first year through those made in the 90s, are probably the most common transportation in Africa. You know, with a missing dash and the wiring being twisted together to do various functions by your smiley cat that charged you the equivalent of 20 cents to climb in the back between the wooden add-on sides for a break-neck speed ride down a dusty road packed in with a bunch of other people. Your only hope is in Toyota and divine intervention that it won’t roll over leaving you and your fellow passengers statistics about transportation in Africa.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    Now if Toyota would only wake up and smell the roses and bring the 70 over here . Oh wait . The chickens**t Big Three have that Chicken Tax thing as well as safety standards for imports that even their cars [ thinking of the JK ] don’t live up to in order to block these and others like them from coming to the US

    For a full picture of how brilliant these Toyotas and their derivatives are and how great they are to own . Peruse a copy or two of ” Overland Journal ” magazine … and see what we’re really missing out on … thanks to our ever loving [ not so ] Big Three

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      For a moment there I thought you were suggesting that modern safety standards were not in the public interest. Silly me!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @gtrslgnr – Are you suggesting imports are hit with tougher standards/regulations than domestics? Including domestically built Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, Subarus, Hyundais BMWs, etc?

      And are you suggesting these offshore based OEMs would otherwise bring all their cars to America if it wasn’t for tariffs and tougher standards? Does the US block import of say VW Polos and Sciroccos, for example? Or do offshore OEMs freely pick and choose what they want sold in America?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The Big 3 neither write, nor enforce, laws. Only the Way Too Big One gets to do that.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Oh No the Chicken Tax does not exist! It is all a communist plot! Great American vehicles are not allowed into foreign countries because they discriminate against the inferior…oops superior US vehicles

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @gtrslngr
      Yep, the Chicken Tax and other protectionist technical barrier that the US throws up. As a car lover the US is very totalitarian. You can only buy what the UAW, greenies, Big 3 want you to buy.

      America land of the free????

      I would make a comment on in the US Energy article, because most of US energy is based on protectionism, not protecting the US energy supply. It’s made to appear so.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Maybe those Nigerian scams are more successful than I thought…

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I think Toyota is a little late into the game of crowding Africa with Toyotas.
    You can barely find a nice used (diesel) Hiace or Hilux over here, especially 4wd. All the 15 year or older cars are being bought up and shipped down there, since they don’t have to care about body-rust or being road legal or not. It’s the same reason there are no Peuget 405 or 505’s left here.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Love it… The tailgate is almost exactly the same as the one on my ’78 HiLux long bed. No point in modifying something that works!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Photo caption: “Toyota drives right over the red tape in Africa.”

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Land Rover’s face is still feeling a burning sensation from the slap of these two mighty words:

    “Land Cruiser”

    I would have loved to witness the first wave of early Land Cruisers flooding Africa waaay back when.

    Like the beaches at Normandy.

    Land Rover: “Well… we’d better start selling SUV’s to housewives with more money than sense, I guess.”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Africa will be interesting to watch over the next decade or two.

    The Chinese are working hard in many areas of Africa to make ‘friends’ and invest.

    I think Africa will be the domain of the Chinese manufacturers more so than any other region of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Big Al, do you get this pickup in Oz?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @thelaine
        Yes.

        I have driven them as well. They come with a diesel V8 here and they do have some fantastic low down grunt off idle.

        These will make any Jeep look amateurish in real life 4x4ing. They are almost built like a tank, in the mold of what gave Toyota a great name in 4x4s.

        I think the Middle Eastern and African ones come with the 4 litre V6 gasoline engine, but I’m not to sure what they are receiving in Sth Africa.

        • 0 avatar
          Thavash

          We get both petrol and Diesel here in SA, but i cant remember the last time i saw one. I suppose they’re not popular in cities.
          http://www.toyota.co.za/ranges/land-cruiser-79

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            They are getting old , need a replacement. Still they outlast anything out there, great offroad with heavy loads.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @thelaine
        I should have added that the one shown, the crewcab variant was actually designed to meet Australian requirements for use mainly in the mines.

        These things will leave an HD in the dust off road with a load in the bed.

        They are sort of midsize, but with a diesel V8, fantastic combination.

        But, like all Toyota diesels, they are not as powerful or frugal with fuel as their competition. They are bullet proof though.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          @big al

          Thanks. If you don’t mind another question, are they expensive compared to something like the Hilux?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @thelaine
            I think they are expensive for what they are. A guy at work bought one. By the time he optioned it out with a tow bar, roo bar/winch it cost him over $70 000AUD or around $67 000USD.

            But, Toyota being Toyota charge a premium for anything. I think Toyota’s are very overpriced.

            A challenge to these are the new gen midsizers we are getting. They are as powerful, use a third less fuel, are much cheaper even fully blinged with leather and everything and can tow as much.

            The comfort level and handling of these Landcruisers is very rustic. The new gen midsizers are like driving a limo in comparison.

            But for serious off road work, like driving from Birdsville to Perth overland on tracks these are the vehicles you will want. Like I stated a Jeep might be a capable off roader, but not rugged.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @big al

            Much appreciated. [At least you didn’t call the Jeep a hairdresser’s car :)]

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – That’s the root of the problem right there. Americans won’t pay anywhere near $60K for this primitive truck. You can make all the chicken excuses you want, but the simple fact remains. The US pickup truck market is way too competitive for OEMs wanting a premium price for their cheesy pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “That’s the root of the problem right there. Americans won’t pay anywhere near $60K”
            They are not selling it in the US, not going to dumb it down to make it a “Lifestyle Vehicle”like virtually all US Pickups are.

          • 0 avatar
            azmtbkr81

            It wouldn’t cost $67K in the US, most vehicles in Australia cost nearly double what they do here.

            Not long ago I built and priced a moderately optioned 4×4 Australian Ranger and it went over $50k (US) very quickly.

            If priced around $35k Toyota would sell every Land Cruiser they could build here in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “t wouldn’t cost $67K in the US, most vehicles in Australia cost nearly double what they do here.”

            I know about half that, still they would make it a “Lifestyle Vehicle” The L70 is more an expedition vehicle than an urban runabout.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RR – African expedition or urban assault, Americans would laugh their A$$ off at a $60+ Land Loser, even with Nav, leather everywhere and air ride.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Americans are some of the most prolific purchasers of these vehicles for expedition work. They pay a lot more than $60,000

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RR – California is the biggest buyer of Toyotas, but where is there to go on Safari on the west coast? OR anywhere in North America? You’ve heard of ‘Squatchin’???

            I suppose there may be a handful of consumers willing to buy this low content truck at a lofty price higher than a luxo King Ranch F-450 4X4, to go on serious A$$ expeditions, but why wouldn’t they just buy (or rent) one of these on location?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denmike,
            Not for the US, buy outright.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            DenverMike,

            Go check out “Expedition Portal,” there are loads of people that go on week long off road treks in the American West. I agree, from a sales perspective there are multitudes more people lining up for “cowboy cadillac” half ton trucks. Nonetheless there are plenty of folks running old 60 and 80 series land cruisers, new FJ cruisers, with tens of thousands invested in their rigs. These are the people that could hypothetically buy a new 70 series. I agree, $67k is way too much, but like azmtbkr81 said, hopefully the price in USD would be closer to $35k-ish.

            Make the 70 series for Toyota what the Wrangler is for Jeep, the off road halo that was up until now the FJ cruiser’s forte. The current 4runner is just a bit too heavy and posh IMO, despite some very legit capability in the Trail edition.

            A man can dream can’t he?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @gtemnykh – The common SUV is plenty for most exploring of America. Highly modified trucks are what’s common when the trial gets technical. But you’d be surprised where a Crown Vic can go.

            youtube.com/watch?v=KFwPXEeJ3aI

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      That’s an incredibly prescient statement. The Chinese have been investing heavily in African infrastructure, building bridges and paving roads, etc.

      I have to imagine that it won’t be long before they will be using their “soft power” to help market their goods and services to the Africans.

      In a story about Khaddafi’s fall, there were many references to the Chinese copy of the Toyota Hilux (the name escapes me) and how they’ve become almost ubiquitous in that part of Northern Africa.

      You’re right, it *will* be interesting to see what happens in Africa.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    What ever happened to the Mahindra truck coming to USA? Why don’t they go to Africa?

  • avatar
    daviel

    I’d buy one of these in a second!

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    We need the serious off-road Toyotas here in the US. Forget the family friendly line and the $100K+ Land Cruiser. With the FJ now gone, why not give us more trucks!

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      We need more off-road capable vehicles period, I can’t think of any time during my life when fewer options have existed.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Amen. Bring back some boxy utilitarian SUVs! I see Wranglers absolutely everywhere, particularly in southern Indiana. Often times with some bigger tires and lift kits. Let’s get some competition going! Sad to say, but it looks like the Xterra is getting axed soon, it was one of the last of the breed, and was actually fairly affordable (especially used). I’ve seen 2 year old Pro-4x models in the $23-24k range. I think brand new they are $30k. Unfortunately for me, Trail Edition 4runners hold their value much better, hard to find even a 2010 for less than $30k. Oh well I’ll just keep my ’96 going for quite a while longer :)

        Yeah, yeah, I know that the American consumer has spoken and that fuel efficient crossovers are king. But I think having halo vehicles can really bolster brand image (see: Wrangler).

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @DrGastro997,
      No the vehicles you get in the US are very watered down versions. Suitable for going to a Big Box store and that is about it.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Considering Nigeria has just overtaken South Africa as the biggest economy in Africa (Go Mr. Zuma…) Toyota, in fact all manufacturers, should be keeping up with this.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Australian car buyers are lucky to have an amazing variety of trucks from which to choose.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      If you were forced to pay Aussie-level prices, you’d surely find a way to blame Obama for them.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        You are stalking me, which is creepy.

        • 0 avatar

          Just to clarify this sort of thing, “stalking” implies some level of emotional attachment.

          An opportunistically useful bu++ of the joke is somewhat different.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I responded to your comment, which occasionally happens in the comments sections of websites.

          In any case, you obviously ignored pesky relevant details such as the prices of said vehicles.

          Americans pay lower prices, which naturally results in less variety being offered. This is a real-life example of a concept called “the law of supply,” which is taught in basic econ courses.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            We don’t have people working for peanuts either in Australia. Even a school kid wouldn’t turn off an alarm clock for $7.50 an hour here to go to work.

            The cost of purchasing a vehicle in Australia for the average person will take less weeks than for an equivalent vehicle in the US.

            Just because it is cheaper doesn’t mean you are better off.

            It’s like a Mexican stating that Mexico is better than the US because it is cheaper.

            So, why don’t you move to Mexico and work and live? You will be so much better off.

            This should make you realise what you stated is obviously some Amercian Exceptionalist crap again.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @The Lane,
      Canadian friend who lives here shares your views on the variety.

  • avatar
    Meathead

    Toyota already conquered the African market: just about every “Technical” or troop carrier is a 70 series Land Cruiser or the ubiquitous HiLux.

    Corollas are just about everywhere, as well as the vans doing yeomans’ work with people transport both inter and intra city.

    There is demand for quality vehicles in developing economies, albeit limited and somewhat specialized.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Pch101, DiM, the laine, RobertRyan and any other interested reader,

    The information provided by Pch101 is tainted and untrue. Pch101 and DiM do have a tendency to water down, fabricate and provide untruths when they think the US is uncompetitive. American Exceptionalism.

    The US receives the Mitsubishi Canter in 4×4 and with the 3 litre Fiat designed diesel. In the US this vehicle costs $55 000USD or $58 500AUD.

    The same vehicle in Australia is $55 000AUD. So it is in fact cheaper in Australia.

    I do see this V8 Landcruiser costing roughly the same in the US as we pay in Australia. This is the cost of a quality purpose built vehicle.

    I conclude my comment with the fact that similar vehicle that we have in Australia similar to this Toyota Landcruiser will cost the same in the US.

    If it is sold for less in the US, it will be as usual a downgraded and Americanised version, which will compromise it’s capabilities.

    • 0 avatar

      > @Pch101, DiM, the laine, RobertRyan and any other interested reader,

      Just a tip dude, when your conversations center around gtrslngr/thelaine/bogans/the chicken tax, and this is your typical reply to someone who actually knows something about cars:

      @DiM
      I can’t believe how pathetic you really are. People like you are the reason the US is finding it hard to exist.

      it’s going to be a time finding anyone to take you seriously. I mean, that’s just how reality works, which is unfortunately impossible to believe how pathetic it really is.

      > American Exceptionalism.

      The bogan version of this meme would be fitting here:

      https://global3.memecdn.com/rmx-credit-to-amp-quot-nedesem-amp-quot-for-amp-quot-rubia-amp-quot_fb_1776289.jpg
      http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131003032741/halo/images/a/a8/Murica!!!.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAF0 – “Exceptional” American consumers are used to not paying much for lots of truck. The price of a Camry or Corolla gets the party started on basic trucks. That’s full-size, mid-size, Jeep size, any size. Lots of fun for Americans, but offshore OEMs aren’t amused. Their loss is our gain.

      And we’re FREE to buy pickups in America in any class known to man. I mean real BOF trucks with part-time 4wd, Nav, leather and air-ride if you wish, up to and including HD (commercial based) medium-duty pickups. Or bare-bones strippers if you like.

      You may define “freedom” by being forced to buy just one class of pickups that are way overpriced, but whatever.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM
        Are we going to go through this again?? Really, it isn’t hard for you to use the internet.

        “Exceptional” American consumers are used to not paying much for lots of truck. The price of a Camry or Corolla gets the party started on basic trucks. That’s full-size, mid-size, Jeep size, any size. Lots of fun for Americans, but offshore OEMs aren’t amused. Their loss is our gain.”

        So what is the average income in Australia? What is the median income in Australia. Like I explained to Pch101, Bolivia must be better than the US as everything is cheaper. See how well you can subsist working on the average Bolivian income and paying Bolivian prices. It must be a better place than the US.

        “And we’re FREE to buy pickups in America in any class known to man. I mean real BOF trucks with part-time 4wd, Nav, leather and air-ride if you wish, up to and including HD (commercial based) medium-duty pickups. Or bare-bones strippers if you like.”

        Yes you are free to buy what is regulated and controlled in YOUR market, but the US market is far from the global market.

        “You may define “freedom” by being forced to buy just one class of pickups that are way overpriced, but whatever.”

        Hmmm……what truck or vehicle can’t I buy in Australia and drive on our roads?? Are you alluding to the fact that we only have one class of pickup?

        http://www.performaxint.com.au/new-vehicles-american-car-imports/

        So, where can I buy a Mitsubishi Triton, BT50, or even a global FORD Ranger in the US and drive it legally on your roads?

        Importantly where can I buy a fuel with the required quality to run these vehicles on in the US?

        The US is far advanced.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – Yes OZ is a great place to sell small trucks. Higher than the average, 1st world income and zero competition from big trucks. Just SUVs and such. The world’s small truck OEMs flock there. No surprise.

          That doesn’t mean you have immense choices, just lots of brands. Most Aussies stay away from the crappy Chinese and Turkish trucks anyways. It’s good to have so many choices in the only class of trucks available, but most Aussies/Kiwis only buy trucks from the few quality OEMs.

          Yes our grey market was banned years ago, but Americans were only into grey market sports cars and luxury Euro barges. Yeah we can’t have global Rangers and such until OEMs stop denying us. Meanwhile, the Tacoma, Frontier and Colorado/Canyon should do just fine in keeping us from taking our own lives, or setting ourselves on fire in protest.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Pickups that are comfortable, actually carry well over 2500lbs, great off road, fuel efficient, very reliable and durable. What is not to like?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RR – Something has to give. You can’t have 2,500 lbs capacity AND cushy ride. You’d be talking air-ride, but the point is, 2,500 lbs is an arbitrary, lofty number dreamed up by the OEM in a market (OZ/NZ) that has no DOT equivalent or similar. No, capacity ratings are left entire to the OEM’s sense of humour in OZ/NZ.

            “Very reliable and durable” would remain to be seen.

            “Great off road” goes with smaller trucks, but it depends on the exact obstacles/terrain you’re talking.

            “fuel efficient” also remains to be seen. But diesel can be offered on any truck.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denmike,
            Wrong on all counts. I think it is time for a total rethink of US pickups, tiny payloads,poorish ride with a full payload indefinite handling, questionable reliability and poor to very poor Off Road. If they had any of those qualities, then the Article would be about US vehicles not Japanese in Africa.
            Maybe the UAW can address the slow erosion of market share, by addressing those issues

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            I’m very intrigued by the US take on future pickups. I’m very interested in technology and I do think that the aluminium Ford a Chev pickups of the future are great. But not for a competitive commercial vehicle.

            These guys of the likes of DiM and Pch101 and a few others must realise the US is competing on a global stage.

            They look at the Euro region and Japanese/Korean as their main competitors, but they aren’t. They use their fuel prices etc to show how competitive the US is. But, it’s the developing countries that are transitioning into industrial economies that pay the same or less for fuel than the US, use cheap, economical commercial vehicles for business and industry. Are able to adapt to green technologies because their infrastructure isn’t based on a century old system and model.

            They are naïve in the ways of the world. I do have empathy for the ignorant.

            Due to regulatory controls the US business person is forced to buy uncompetitive vehicles compared to their global counterpart the US will find it even harder to compete.

            The reality is future US 1/2 ton pickups will become the equivalent to a prestige Euro SUV. They will sell but in less numbers.

            I think the US Transit and vehicles similar to it will become the 1/2 ton work truck replacement. Those little 2 litre vans will do a lot of the work of the larger vans.

            These vehicles can come as cab-chassis, cutaway, vans, etc. Much more flexible than the current US/global pickup model for business.

            The US in it’s attempt to try hard to protect it’s commercial vehicle market will cost business money.

            Just look at those heavily subsidized and near on useless CNG pickups.

            The US commercial vehicle sector will change, because it has to, to remain competitive globally.

            The US doesn’t rule the roost like it used to. Even Wall St will be challenged within a decade.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @big all
            Agreed. Pickups are the least of it. Americans have turned decisively to the statist/social welfare model. As long as this continues, America will continue to decline.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RR – You’re proving you’ve never owned a truck. Ride quality substantially improves with a full load. And you state “questionable reliability”? And “eroding market share”???

            What planet are you on, son?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denmike,
            Of course the ride improves with a full load, Questionable reliability, very questionable reliability, Fords Ecoboost already has major problems in an urban environment, let alone anywhere else. Market share? Yes has been constantly shrinking since the early 2000’s

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Never driven a truck??

            A Ram 1500 is a truck? Get real.

            A Kei truck can carry a bigger load.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Interpretation “Boulevarde Cruisers” or look at me now

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Big Al From Oz,
          The US should be dominating Pickup production worldwide and it certainly has the potential to be a very big player. Outside NA it is a very minor player. I know many in Australia(including myself) would like to see that happening, but it producing too may “Lifestyle vehicles” and “Boulevarde Cruisers” to be taken seriously.Maybe a gradual shrinking market may trigger something who knows.A proper tough vehicle would be preferable ,instead of glorified station wagons.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            Like this 79 Series shows. The US can’t build a durable truck to work in atrocious conditions. If it did it would cost more than this 79 Series.

            US pickups are becoming SUVs. The only consolation we have in Australia concerning pickups is our trucks are based on vehicles built for a developing nation, but blinged to the hilt.

            I would like to see ‘station wagon’ suspensions offered here. I would like a better ride.

            But, my truck will no longer be a truck, it would be a SUV.

            That’s how I use my ‘truck’ as an SUV, like most pickups in the developed world.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            The US has the ability to produce and design good products. The thing is, the market divide between the US pick-up market and the global market is still too big to bridge with a global product.

            The car markets have gravitated close enough, to some extent, for manufacturers to sell “global” products equally well inside and outside of the US. Cars outside have gotten bigger and US cars are getting smaller (on the outside) because of fuel economy concerns.

            The pickup market is not quite there yet. The global pick-up market is going for bigger and bigger trucks, as they transition from basic work vehicles to lifestyle/commercial vehicles, as they are in the US. (though markets outside the US will never accept a V6 or V8 gasoline pick-up) The Ranger and Colorado would have been good bridge vehicles. Ford gave up on the Ranger because of the overlap with the F150. Chevrolet will introduce a Colorado in the US, but it will be either heavily modified or watered down so as not to compete with its bigger brothers.

            I’d give it another decade, perhaps stricter requirements will make it happen. But for now… no. And there is little reason for US manufacturers to venture outside of their comfort zone, because the US market is big enough to absorb all their products.

            It’s stupid not to prepare for the inevitable homogenization of the markets… but that’s why Ford and Chevy already have truck development centers outside the USA. Trying to force the US market to jump can anyone say Ford Contour) before it’s ready would be a disastrous mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @Niky
            Thank you for your comments. They are outstanding and, as always, I have learned a great deal. I look forward to your guest articles on TTAC!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @niky,
            Thanks for a very accurate summing up.

          • 0 avatar

            > And there is little reason for US manufacturers to venture outside of their comfort zone, because the US market is big enough to absorb all their products.

            US brands tend to do poorly overseas due to poor market recognition, given similar cars sell well under Opel/Vaxhall/etc. China is ironically the exception in context of our chat above.

            The whole idea that US truck design is globally uncompetitive was laughable in the first place. American pickups (as well as many other segments in a society wealthy enough to pay for premium commodity products) are lifestyle vehicles. Clearly most of the world don’t share that Merican lifestyle.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            I still find it strange, after all these years, the fascination Chinese have with the Buick brand. Perhaps the name spelled out in Chinese calligraphy resembles a very fetching maiden. ;)

          • 0 avatar

            > I still find it strange, after all these years, the fascination Chinese have with the Buick brand.

            Early mover benefits. Same reason chinese electronics/telcom and other equipment in general is all over africa.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Marcelo de Vasconcellos and Niky,
    This might be an interesting read.

    I will read this. I don’t know it’s content.

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~jidoming/images/jid_explaining.pdf

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @u mad scientist
    > ;) US brands tend to do poorly overseas due to poor market recognition, given similar cars sell well under Opel/Vaxhall/etc. China is ironically the exception in context of our chat above.

    US brands are highly recognised overseas. It’s just the US manufacturers have put in a piss poor effort into globalising.

    Over the last decade Detroit is attempting to be global players.

    The most profitable global manufacturers started globalising well before the US made attempts. VW, Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers started looking into this in the 50s. Or I should say te model Detroit adopted for globalization was inferior, ie, regional models. Because that’s how it did business in the past. Very short sighted approach by Detroit in hind sight.

    The US tried to combat the influx of overseas imports with the chicken tax and DoT was brought into existence in 67.

    The US manufacturers did manufacture globally but with regional products. Ford has learnt and has the Ford One (loosely), GM is still a little behind the 8 ball and Chrysler was never a real global player due to it’s continual bouts of debt exposure which in turn didn’t allow it to expand globally.

    The US is now playing catch up. This is evident by how closely the US is now working with all of the CAPS regarding vehicle safety.

    The only area the US really needs to get a handle on vehicle design is CAFE and other divergent regulations.

    Eventually the US will adopt harmonized vehicle standards which will match it’s competitors. It has to for it’s very existence into the future.

    The US is moving away from the Galapagos Islands effect, except with it commercial vehicles. But this will change within a couple of decades.


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Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States