Lax Laws Give Chinese Automakers African Foothold

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
lax laws give chinese automakers african foothold

Realizing that meeting American and European safety and emission standards is a bitch, Chinese automakers are turning their attention to Africa. According to the Wall Street Journal, Great Wall, Chery Automobile Co. and Geely Group Ltd. are all aggressively targeting developing African nations with low-cost vehicles, successfully competing against the less-than-stellar used vehicles flooding in from Europe. Zheng Guoqing, African sales manager for Great Wall, makes no bones about the "legislative advantages" involved. "The emissions standard is not particularly high there. The requirement for safety is also not high." In the first five months of 2007, China has more than doubled its African auto exports, compared to the same period last year. It'll be interesting to see if those Great Wall Hover II SUVs hold up to the African desert like Land Cruisers and Peugeots, and how easily Cherys and Geeleys can be fixed with a piece of wire and whatever the owner has on hand.

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  • TaxedAndConfused TaxedAndConfused on Aug 28, 2007

    China kind of scares me at the moment. Combine a possible fact - oil running out - with a real fact - China sucking up all the cash in the world - and I kind of worry that in 10-20 years they will be the only people who will be able to afford to run a car at all. Plus they are pretty much buying Africa at the moment.

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Aug 28, 2007

    Another possible barrier to Chinese cars in Europe and the USA is copyright and patent infringement.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Aug 28, 2007

    I'll be more impressed when they start building assembly plants in Africa.

  • VLAD VLAD on Aug 29, 2007

    Free proving grounds.