The Truth About Cars » Tycho deFeyter The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:27:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Tycho deFeyter Fake In China: A Land Rover You Can (But Maybe Should Not) Drink Sun, 30 Dec 2012 17:17:28 +0000

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.”  

Found by a reader of Carnewschina in Guangzhou in southern China, the “Land Rover” drink has a logo that looks like a Jaguar. Or maybe it’s a tiger. The Chinese characters say “Lu Hu”,  which , according to the linguists at Carnewschina means ‘Road Tiger’. It is also the proper Chinese name for Land Rover.

The product may draw attention from another side. Design and colors of the bottle are a mirror image of a Brazilian-Chinese energy drink called Recca.

We are sorry that we cannot supply a review of the product. A friend in Huadu, a suburb of Guangzhou, volunteered to try the stuff. And now he won’t answer his phone.

]]> 23
Only In China: Branded Parking Space Fri, 16 Nov 2012 15:00:31 +0000

Some of you may remember the  “No Audi” signs at U.S. parking garages at the height of the unintended acceleration craze of the late 80s. In a garage in China, one can see the reverse: Only Audis, other cars go elsewhere.

The Audi-only parking was seen by Carnewschina seen in the gigantic underground parking of Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital Airport.  According to a guard the owner of the lot does some revenue-enhancement with branded parking space.  BMW and Benz will be next. Chery or Geely, move on.

(If I would have suggested something like this in Wolfsburg, I would have been declared insane.)

]]> 14
Ford Misses Out On Chinese Lust For Pony Power Sun, 16 Sep 2012 13:02:00 +0000

GM is smarter than Ford when it comes to exploiting rich Chinese, says Tycho de Feyter of Carnewschina. While GM sells is Camaro in China for a whopping $72,000 on up, Ford is leaving money on the table and profits to grey importers.

The Price Of Muscle
Model China RMB In $ US MSRP $
2013 Mustang V6 568,000 89,971 22,200
Boss 302 1,168,000 185,011 42,995
Shelby GT 500 1,248,000 197,683 54,995
Camaro 3.6 V6 455,800 72,199 23,345

Says Tycho:

“Ford does not export the Mustang to China. However, it is relatively easy to get one via the thriving gray market. I went to a small dealer show in Beijing a while back and received a nice brochure from a Beijing-based Ford Mustang dealer. Not cheap; the 2013 Mustang V6 goes for 568.000 yuan. China’s high import taxes account for about 25%. Things get even madder with more expensive Mustangs…”

The 25 percent tariff is not all. There is a car sales tax of up to 40 percent depending on engine size. Also, there is a 17 percent value added tax. Lastly, there is the matter of the punitive tariffs China slapped on U.S. car exports. However, rumor has it that some taxes remain unpaid, especially in the netherworld of grey imports.

Despite the hefty taxes, rest assured that there is plenty profit in those grey imported Mustangs, profits that is shared by West Coast dealers who and by Chinese grey importers. On the GM side, that profit stays with Chevrolet.  Says Tycho:

“Ford finally did take notice earlier this year and might or might not be considering importing the Mustang to China, but it won’t be anytime soon. Strangely, Ford decided to sell the Mustang in cash-stripped Europe first, where road tax for big American cars is very high and where their image very low. China would snap up many more Mustangs …”

]]> 18
Chengdu Motor Show: Communist Government Blasts Near-Naked Booth Babes (NSFW In America) Mon, 10 Sep 2012 13:15:06 +0000

The Chinese government reprimanded organizers of the Chengdu Motor Show for showing way too much flesh than what’s appropriate for a harmonious society.  The exhibitionist exhibits were all foreign. A finger-wagging received the display of female charms at Citroen and Kia, and a serious finger-wagging was directed at an “almost-naked Ms Yan Yu who briefly posed with a Toyota Camry before things got so mad with ‘journalists’ taking pictures that she was quickly taken back-stage,” as Tycho de Feyter reports at Carnewschina.

The showing of almost naked ladies is standard fare at communist China car shows, but could trigger arrested hearts and mass firing in the allegedly free West. Therefore, the almost naked Camry lady was trafficked below the fold. Don’t click if you are under age, easily offended, or easily fired.  Your have been warned.“Is that a jelly bra?” asks TTAC’s cross-cultural adviser, Frau Schmitto-san. “I have one in Tokyo.”

“I don’t want to see it,” answers the editor in chief.

As suspected a week ago, the reprimands were handed out at the end of the show.  Same thing happened in Beijing.  This way, organizers receive full promotional impact, the government keeps face, and there is a last-minute rise in traffic, based on righteous reporting

]]> 12
Chengdu Motor Show: White, Brown, And Black Lincolns Are In Fact Grey Mon, 03 Sep 2012 16:34:19 +0000

A few days ago, an anonymous source told us that Lincolns have been in China for years, and that Ford won’t admit it.  Ford said they probably were grey imports.  Before the Chengdu Motor Show opened its doors, three Lincolns were seen entering the hall with big grins on their faces, and everybody thought they were brought by Ford.  No they were not.

Grey imports again! The source of these grey imports are said to be dealers on the US West Coast, who make their quota by shipping the beasts to China.

Says Tycho of Carnewschina:

The Lincolns, two MKT, two MKX and a Navigator, were on display at the booth of a local Chengdu dealer group. On these smaller shows in the Chinese hinterlands, dealer booths are quite the norm. Some dealers offer cars that the brands officially don’t sell, and this is the case here. The Navigator is widely sold grey all over China, but this is the first time I see the MKT and MKZ. “

]]> 22
Chengdu Sings Ode To Joe Mon, 03 Sep 2012 16:09:39 +0000

It looks like news of the sacking of Joel Ewanick has not reached China. Or at least not Chengdu.

This yellow Chevrolet Camaro with a giant Manchester United sticker was spotted at the Chengdu Motor Show. Supposedly, the decoration is the idea of a local Chevrolet dealer, but who know’s, if public reaction is strong enough. Tycho of Carnewschina is checking the boxes:

“The Camaro is very popular in China: check! Soccer is very popular in China: check! Manchester United is by far the most famous soccer club in China: check! China is the biggest auto market in the world and GM is big out here: check! All good, what are the bean counters whining about?”

]]> 12