Many people don’t realize that most of the “import” cars bought and sold in America no longer roll off a boat, but off an assembly line somewhere in the American heartland. Or at least in the North American heartland. It comes as an even bigger surprise that these cars are one of America’s most successful export products, going from American ports to many countries in the world – where people often are likewise ignorant of the car’s American origin. (Read More…)
The slowdown of Chinese car sales, applauded in some circles that applaud any negative news out of China, could finally unleash the flood of cheap Chinese cars exported to foreign markets, something that had been long predicted, but which has been a bust for even longer. “Battling a slowdown and intense competition in their home market, Chinese carmakers are increasingly looking to exports for growth,” China Daily writes. (Read More…)
In a sit-down with Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti , Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and chairman John Elkann came to a belated conclusion: A slump in Europe is not such a bad thing of you can sell you cars elsewhere. After the sit-down, Fiat told Reuters that it wants to “re-orient” its business model in Italy “to focus on exports, particularly outside of Europe.” This, the person familiar with the situation said, can mean only one thing: Get ready for made-in-Italy Jeeps and Imported from Torino Chryslers. (Read More…)
There is one thing about the Chinese car industry that can’t be said often enough: It is learning fast. A year ago, the recurring theme at the Chengdu Global Automotive Forum was brands, brands, brands. This year, nobody talks about new brands anymore. The only one who does is the CEO of Dongfeng, one of China’s largest automakers. He says last year’s brand binge was misguided, “irrational, incompetent, and immature.” (Read More…)
It’s not quite the bursting bubble that had been prognosticated by many through the last decade, but there is no doubt that “the world’s largest auto market sputters in a slowing economy,” as Reuters writes.
“Be careful what you wish for” is not the Chinese proverb it often is made up to be, but it applies: The red menace of Chinese car exports, longer predicted than the bursting bubble and likewise for long a chimera, finally appears to get going. The sputtering Chinese home market provides the push to find better fortunes abroad, but General Motors broke the dam that held Chinese exports back. (Read More…)
It looks like Carlos Ghosn is tired of talking about the inaction of the Japanese government with regards to the killer yen. He told his people to start packing. The Nikkei [sub] reports today that Nissan will stop making in Japan newly developed cars for export from Japan. New cars will be produced at overseas plants.
“Under current foreign exchange rates, there can be no shipments from Japan of totally new projects,” Nissan’s COO Toshiyuki Shiga said. According to the report, anything with a new chassis that is intended for foreign markets will begin its life in those foreign markets. Says The Nikkei: (Read More…)
Quite ironically, foreign carmakers, namely GM and now French PSA, help China kick-start its ailing export machine.
Everybody had been hysterical about cheap Chinese cars that would soon flood the market, but it didn’t happen. Quite the opposite is happening: Joint venture brands, led by General Motors, are grabbing a larger and larger share of the Chinese market. And foreigners are gearing up to get China a chunk of the world market. (Read More…)
In many ways it was a strange scene. The president of Korea, speaking in a US factory that builds the replacement to a car that was once imported from Korea. The president of the United States, speaking in a factory that can only competitively build subcompact cars because of a government-ordered “innovative labor practices” that unionized workers were not able to ratify. In many ways, both President Obama and President Lee were visiting the graveyard of their ideals. Which is another way of saying, that this meeting symbolizes a new pragmatism.
American workers may not be getting paid what they once were, but they’re building cars at a profit. Korea may not be exporting as many cars to the US, but it’s putting the squeeze on Japan. Professor Kim Seung-jin of Hankuk University sums up the dynamic in the Korea Times, saying
There is no free lunch in the world… Korea should get into the U.S. market prior to Japan and China. The more we delay the less the advantage. You should know that the world is still living off the American market
This deal probably won’t boost US auto exports to Korea in the way Obama is hoping for, but it’s a reminder that US manufacturing is slowly becoming more competitive… and that our market remains an attractive place to do business. Free trade is necessarily a messy business for politicians, and protectionism might have kept Orion’s wages higher or Aveo production in Korea. But by embracing free trade, these two presidents could walk into Orion, live up to the downsides of free trade, and promise a stronger, more sustainable economic future.
The Japanese car industry is slowly but surely producing and exporting itself out of the huge hole caused by the March 11 tsunami. The Japanese domestic market remains where it was before the catastrophe: In the dumps. This is the bottom line of August production, export and domestic sales data released today by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. (Read More…)
Hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, exports of Japanese motor vehicles plummeted 67.8 percent from a year earlier in April.This according to data released today by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. The quake hit all companies, although not equally hard … (Read More…)
Some people are still worried about the Chinese trade imbalance. They should look at the car industry. Car-wise, China’s trade is shockingly imbalanced, a report of Chinas automotive industry association CAAM shows. (Read More…)
The trade war that erupted between the US and China late last summer may have cooled to an angry simmer, but its effects are once again being noticed in the automotive industry. After President Obama slapped a 35% tariff on imports of Chinese-produced tires, the Chinese government started casting around for potential objects of retaliation, and, as Bertel reported, US auto exports to China made “a good tit-for-tat.” The US imported $1.8b worth of Chinese tires in 2009, while China imported $1.1b worth of US-built cars (including transplant brands) in 2008. You shoot our dog, we’ll kill your cat.”
Now, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has concluded its “investigation” into US auto dumping and illegal subsidies in the Chinese market, and it just so happens to single out the two automakers who are partially owned by the US. Coincidence? Not so much. [Hat Tip: Michael Banovsky]
We have been predicting it for quite a while: Chinese car exports, hopelessly in a hole, will be saved by those who used to be most paranoid about Chinese exports: Foreign carmakers. Surprisingly, they are led by partially government and union-owned GM.
The new motto appears to be: “Chinese car exports bad, except if they are our Chinese.” (Read More…)