As wonderful as the American marketplace is, there’s an entire world — literally — of cars out there that we just can’t get our hands on. In TTAC’s new series, “Foreign Affairs,” we look at forbidden fruit that you can buy brand new around the world.
As a not-so-closeted Anglophile, I’ve waited for the day that I could walk into an American showroom and drive home a new MG. The iconic octagonal badge reminds me of the MGBs that I restored with my father, and the possibility of a new car with that badge is another link to the man who made me a car enthusiast.
Of course, any time you buy an MG, there are three more letters that will come to mind: AAA. Buy the top-of-the-line package, with unlimited tows. Trust me.
The last time MG sold roadsters in the United States, Jimmy Carter was President, ABSCAM (minus the efforts of Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper) entered its final phase, and CNN had newsreaders instead of “news VJs.” Should the Sino-British brand be able to assemble a roadster worthy of those 1960s and 1970s classics, however, a new MGB might board a container ship bound for the U.S. in the future.
News of GM potentially exporting cars from China to the United States in the near future has some wondering if the General will be the first OEM to sell Chinese made cars in the United States. One can have a diverse array of opinions on the political, social and economic impact of such a move, but from a product standpoint, it may not be such a bad thing.
Max Warburton and his team. Warburton, of Bernstein Research, assembled a team to interview over 40 auto executives in China (both Chinese and foreign-born) and even bought two Chinese vehicles from Geely and Great Wall. Warburton had them shipped to Europe, where they were taken to a test track, driven extensively and then taken apart by engineers and automotive consultants. And it was far from pretty.
December sales in GM’s largest market China are likely to be less than exhilarating. The indicator: GM’s Chinese joint venture partner SAIC told Reuters that its December auto sales rose 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 350,380 vehicles.