Tag: China

By on February 15, 2017

Buick Grille Logo Emblem, Image: General Motors

As politicians and labor unions in Europe reel from yesterday’s revelation of high-level talks between General Motors and Peugeot over a possible sale of Opel, GM’s most European-infused brand on this side of the Atlantic is operating business as usual.

Buick, which is GM’s second-largest brand globally by volume behind Chevrolet, has product in the wings, including the largely rumored but unconfirmed Buick Regal, based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia.

Buick sees no problem with that.

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2017

Saab

When National Electric Vehicle Sweden bought out Saab Automobile after its 2011 filing for bankruptcy, it expected to get the whole enchilada and went straight to work producing electric 9-3s. However, NEVS filed for bankruptcy itself a few years later and production of those EV 9-3s stopped as it hunted for financial backing from China. Fed up, Saab AB revoked the company’s right to use its name on future NEVS-built products.

While that only changes the badging and branding, it made it feel a little like Electric Vehicle Sweden is defiling Saab’s corpse without the namesake and company’s blessing. Still, the pathway to bringing that disgusting dream to life remained long and dark. NEVS said from day one that its goal was to bring “Saab” back to the world but, after a $12 billion deal with Panda New Energy, it would have to tackle China and plenty of red tape first. After substantial delays, it appears to have found a pair of scissors. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2017

Trabant 601deluxe Universal, Modell 1970, By Deluxe602 at de.wikipedia (Original text : S.M.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

“Like any good capitalist, I firmly believe that automakers need competition to produce their best and most innovative work.” That’s what my colleague and occasional pal Stef Schrader on Jalopnik wrote yesterday, in a column titled Protectionism Is Only Good If You Love Really Terrible Cars. I doubt neither Stef’s sincerity nor her diligence; she hits all the traditional marks in her piece, from Allegro to Trabant, and she does it with style.

I am not a good capitalist. Not any longer.

For most of my life, I was; I’ve been mostly self-employed since I was 19, and I’ve never asked for help from anybody save for three weeks’ worth of unemployment payments in 1995. I always looked at life as a battle that went to the strongest, and I never felt inadequate in the face of the challenge.

Once I became a father, however, I started wondering about my son’s prospects, and the prospects of his contemporaries. What if they didn’t have the strength, or the luck, that I’ve had? Should they be just tossed aside by the global economy, discarded forever just because they couldn’t win a race to the bottom with seven billion other desperate souls?

If the former president of the Miami University Entrepreneurial Society (yes, guilty as charged) can read Adbusters and start worrying about factory conditions around the globe, perhaps that means everything out there is up for grabs. And it’s worth asking the question: Could a new round of protectionist policies, intelligently conceived and applied, change our lives as drivers, consumers, and workers — for the better?

(Read More…)

By on December 9, 2016

BYD_Line-up_2015

The recent Guangzhou Auto Show in China was a reflection of everything stereotypical about the Chinese car market: Chinese OEM clones of European vehicles, North American and European legacy platforms resurrected into new China-only models, wacky supercars from unknown Chinese OEMs, stretched European executive sedans, and weird electric vehicles.

The only major North American press headline from the show was bold: “Five New Electric Cars from China, World’s Largest EV Market.” I never saw China as a leader in electric vehicles. However, green car publications like CleanTechnica have stated China is the world’s largest EV market for almost two years now.

What’s the real story behind China’s EV market? There’s both truth and lies in these headlines.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2016

wm-5

A billion dollar electric vehicle startup from China has been accused of using photoshopped production car images for their concept cars.

WM Motors, a new electric vehicle startup, recently gained widespread press in Bloomberg, Fortune and Forbes. However, it was Electrek that picked up on the pixelated fakery.

“It appears that one of the first concepts of this billion-dollar EV startup is simply photoshopped images based on promotional pictures of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.”

(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2016

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Pickup trucks are about as stereotypically American as firearms, baseball, Coca-Cola, and landing on the moon. However, General Motors and Ford don’t want us hoarding all that goodness and plan on exporting their piece of the American pie to the East. The Big Two want to place large American trucks in the hands of upscale Chinese buyers and establish the eminence of a vehicle China currently sees as little more than a tool for farming or construction.

Coincidentally, that is exactly how our love affair with the truck began.  (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

LeSee LeEco Jia Yueting

After a myriad of financial troubles and irresponsible corporate dealings, we assumed Faraday Future’s end was near. However, its spectral parent company now claims it has convinced more than ten Chinese companies to invest $600 million into its automotive division.

While the future of Faraday can not be considered even close to bright, the brand could theoretically hobble onward using this financial stimulus as a crutch. (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2016

pepper spray dude

Daimler AG had to fire a top-level executive after he reportedly announced that all Chinese people were bastards and then pepper-sprayed one into submission. The incident, which took place on Sunday, began as an ugly dispute over a parking space before evolving into a small-scale race war.

(Read More…)

By on November 9, 2016

buick velite hybrid china

Ford Motor Company is finally figuring out the secret to General Motors’ most recent overseas sales success. Chinese shoppers are willing to pay more for a new car than consumers in other countries, but only if it piles on the luxury and, most importantly, prestige.

However, there’s still a long way to go before the Lincoln brand catches up to a surging Cadillac. That automaker only wishes it could find such sales gains in the United States.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2016

Honda Gienia, Image: Honda China

The unloved Honda Crosstour was last sold in 2015 and heavily criticized for its awkward, ungainly styling. After only 2 years, Honda has brought back a car with nearly identical styling in the 2017 Honda Gienia.

Available only in the Chinese market, the Honda Gienia is based on the Honda City, a sedan version of the Honda Fit. Dimension wise, the compact crossover Gienia is significantly smaller than the defunct Crosstour.

(Read More…)

By on October 28, 2016

2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility

Danger, nudity, drugs and the long arm of the law. You’re not safe from any of those things while on the road. There’s Buicks out there, too.

In this edition of Freaky Friday, a young lady discovers that some things are best left to the intimate and discreet confines of one’s own home (or an airport bathroom), a crack aficionado wants everyone to know his favorite pastime, Portland residents are walking caricatures, and a Buick Verano returns excellent fuel economy on a 16-mile journey.  (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2016

Third-generation Buick GL8, Image: GM

It’s no secret General Motors’ Buick division does the majority of its business in China. The tri-shield brand offers up six separate nameplates in North America for 2017 while giving customers in China the choice of 10 (or 11, depending on how you count them) different nameplates.

One of the models Buick offers in China that it doesn’t offer here is this: the Buick GL8 — and it has a 30-year-old secret beneath its newly redesigned skin.

(Read More…)

By on October 14, 2016

lynk

Forget Chevrolet’s cringe-inducing launch of the first-generation Spark — this could be the biggest hipster Millennial marketing/branding effort to date.

Naturally, it’s for an affordable car brand, but with a difference: this brand is completely new and its products have yet to be revealed. Lynk & Co, a new subsidiary of Volvo parent company Geely, launches on October 20, Reuters reports, and it’s clear it wants to be every free-spirited young adult’s first car. (Read More…)

By on September 24, 2016

ford logo

Harkening back to its early days as a purveyor of horseless carriages, Ford Motor Company has patented a no-frills folding vehicle for those who want something more than a bicycle.

Intended for developing countries with poor infrastructure, the patent filing uncovered by Autoblog details a lightweight, endlessly configurable vehicle with a collapsible frame. (Read More…)

By on September 23, 2016

Buick Velite

American Chevrolet Volt fans have long discussed how the quasi-upscale extended-range EV might have fared with a Buick badge instead of being branded as a bread-and-butter Chevrolet.

It appears the Chinese have gone beyond the discussion phase.

According to Chinese website Autohome, Shanghai GM gets it, and has pulled the strings to rename the Chevy Volt the Velite for a brand that is more prestigious and sells in higher volume in China. (Read More…)

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