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.
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.”
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…)
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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…)
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…)
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…)