It’s a thing in China: You don’t get the car service you expect, and instead of waiting for the J.D. Power questionnaire, you hire thugs with sledgehammers. Not to beat the dealer to pulp. No, to smash your car in front of a lot of cameras. It so recently happened to a Maserati Quattroporte. According to Carnewschina, the owner of the car (starting at 423,000 USD in China) disagreed with the dealer over a $390 repair. After a flurry of letters, the car was smashed. Read More >
The container yard stretched out into the distance as far as the eye could see. Next to the ship, three giant cranes worked at a feverish pace, plucking the 40 foot long containers from their racks, lifting them high into the air and depositing them onto one of an endless stream of flat-bed trucks below at a rate of around one every minute. The loaded trucks raced their engines and sped off into the yard where they were met by other machines, immense forklifts, that removed the containers and piled them in stacks six or seven units high. The stacks, numbering in the tens of thousands, merged with one another to form great flat topped mesas of multicolored steel cut by valleys of cement and the industrial landscape rivaled anything that nature could create with stone and water. It was a scene I had looked upon many times and it could have been a container port anywhere in the world. Only the stench of told me it was Kaohsiung Taiwan.
Audi’s global deliveries were “clearly lower” than in January, Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler told Reuters reporter Andreas Cremer in Geneva. Audi’s global sales were up 16.3 percent in January. There won’t be a minus said Stadler, even while fighting the lunar calendar, Audi will report a single digit plus.
Audi’s numbers won’t be the only ones that won’t look as good as the month before.
American automakers keep complaining about the allegedly closed Japanese market where just about nobody wants their big brutes since … the last world war. The Japanese market is full, it has too much local capacity, and it is getting smaller by the day. At the same time, Detroit does not seem to have its ear on the ground in a much bigger market close-by: China. Despite being in China in full strength, Detroit hasn’t capitalized on a huge trend in the Middle Kingdom: Pickups for urban cowboys. According to Chinacartimes, money is left on the table for Chinese who are ready to cash in. Read More >
At the Geneva auto show, the long awaited Chinese attack on the embattled European auto market will finally get started in earnest – with the help of German and Austrian engineers, and money from Israel. Qoros is a joint venture partnership between China’s Chery and the Israel Corporation. Qoros wants to be to Chery what Lexus is to Toyota and Acura to Honda. It also wants to be the key that unlocks foreign volume markets.
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Not Dongfeng, but China’s Geely currently looks best positioned to profit from U.S. government largesse by buying beleaguered and DOE-funded plug-in car maker Fisker, Reuters reports. According to the report, “Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is favored to secure a majority stake in troubled U.S. electric car maker Fisker Automotive, according to two sources familiar with Fisker’s search for a strategic investor or partner.”
Also according to the report, red flags are sure to flutter over Fisker’s HQ in Anaheim, as Fisker “is currently weighing bids from two Chinese auto makers: Geely, the owner of Sweden’s Volvo, and state-owned Dongfeng Motor Group Co.”
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BAIC and Daimler announced last Friday they are taking the Beijing-Benz joint venture a giant step further. Daimler takes a 12 percent stake in BAIC and both parties will work closely together to win market share from Audi and BMW. On the ‘grass roots level’ the close cooperation has long begun! Above, a Beijing Auto E-Series with a Mercedes-Benz grille. How did that happen? Read More >
Toyota, along with its Japanese peers, has wallowed in double digit minus territory in China, ever since cars were upturned and dealerships torched in September over a few uninhabited rocks in the East China Sea. In January, China sales of Toyota shot up 23.5 percent compared to the same month a year earlier. Are Japanese fortunes in China finally turning to the better?
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A low-cost Volkswagen, selling for between 5,000 and 10,000 euros, might be earmarked for China, and the range could include – brace yourselves – a station wagon!
This is the fantastic Shanghai SH761 parade car from the Shanghai Car Museum in Shanghai. It was made in 1970 and was used to show high ranking foreign visitors to the masses. The visiting dignitary would sit rather uncomfortably on a hydraulically lifted rear bench in the back of the vehicle. The ‘royal seat’ was so high that the curious populace could see all, down to the buttocks. The visitor was supposed to wave his hand and smile to the adoring masses… Read More >
China is the land where you have a choice of two kinds of Red Bull, both equally fake. The Austrian maker of the stuff has been in court for years, did win, and still can’t sell the original stuff in China, because the other party appealed. Now, Jaguar Land Rover is faced with starting its own arduous battle against the fakers: There is an energy drink called “Land Rover.” Read More >
I found this perfect Hongqi CA770 state limousine at the Shanghai Car Museum, and it is definitely one of the best looking examples I have seen in China so far. The Hongqi (Red Flag) CA770 was a giant sedan made exclusively for the Chinese government. Only 847 cars were produced in its long life from 1966 until 1981. Here is its story … Read More >
Buried In the depths of General Motor’s quarterly results is a routine litany of negative factors that could severely hamper the company’s future. One of them is “Significant changes in economic, political and market conditions in China.” GM intently monitors what is happening to Japanese brands in China, and it has more reason to watch with worries than with glee. What is happening to Toyota, Honda, and Nissan right now could just as easily happen to GM. The Japanese might shake off the troubles – Japanese makers have seen worse in the very recent past. GM would be brought to its knees by a boycott of American cars in China. Quite possibly, one of the reasons behind the whole anti-Japanese exercise is to say “look what could happen to you.” Government Motors finds itself at the mercy of China. Read More >
Heard enough about the Middle Kingdom? Fine. You can fly to 170 other countries and territories in my blog, all from the comfort of your home. Or today I can offer you the 264 best-selling models in the USA in October 2012. Every single one of them.
Now back to China. You can discover the Top 280 best-selling locally produced models below the jump and you will see that the impact of the island diplomatic row between China and Japan is extremely hard on the model ranking in China…
Amid flat growth for the ultra-luxury segment, Lamborghini may kill their luxury SUV project to save money.