By on February 12, 2010

And yet again, the reports of Chinese cars flooding worldwide markets have been greatly exaggerated. The reverse is true: Chinese car exports are a disaster. China’s already anemic auto exports dropped 46 percent in 2009. That according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) data reported in China Daily.

China exported a mere 369,600 autos in 2009, valued at $5.2b. That’s less than 3 percent of the 13.64m vehicles the Chinese consumed at home last year.

From a balance of trade perspective, no reason for complaints (unless you are Chinese:) China imported more cars than it exported. 420,800 autos came into the country in 2009, up 3 percent from a year before. The value of the imports (usually more upscale models) was $15.3b, beating exports 3:1.

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8 Comments on “That’s Low: Chinese Car Exports Sink 46 Percent...”


  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Well, as soon as they build competitive products (and they will) that might change.
    the exports probably are so low because domestic demand is so high that it is not worth much to make great effort exporting when you can sell it right around the corner.

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    Have you ever watched the Chinese crash test videos on YouTube? Followed the constant stream of reports about contaminated…everything they ship here? Things like Cadmium laced toys? Why the hell would I ever want to drive a vehicle that is a) likely to kill me in any crash b) will have plastics offgassing to the point of lethality C) have horrible reliability & d) no pretense of quality control & e) no resale value. Are these cars like the Trabant?

    What’s the win-win for me here? How would it benefit me to buy such a vehicle in any way? Would it compete against the Tata on price? Would these cars sell better in South America or Albania? Can someone explain?

  • avatar

    MarckKyle64: The responsibility for products imported to the United States rests with the importer. According to an Associated Press report about Cadmium in toys, “some of the most toxic toys were bracelet charms sold at Wal-Mart, as well as at the Claire’s jewelry franchise and in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” movie-themed pendants.” Assuming that Wal-Mart, Claire and Disney were the actual importers, then they would be the responsible parties.

    If you produce in or import from China or any low cost country on price alone, you will have those problems, and you will be responsible. Third party Quality Assurance is highly recommended. Note when Mattel had the toy lead scandal, it was Mattel who had to take responsibility in the end, and who had to apologize for the company’s own weak safety controls.

    There are companies who import absolute crap from China, and there are companies that import highest quality from China. The differences are in specifications, quality management, and quality control.

    The computer on which you typed your comments was most likely made in China, and you are obviously still alive.

    • 0 avatar
      MarcKyle64

      Your argument is invalid as you’re comparing apples to oranges. I’m not going to be hit by another computer unless my wife throws her laptop at me. If I’m going to have a wreck, I’d rather not have it in a chinese made and designed car that only has to pass the barest quality standards to be put on the cargo ship. By the way, my computer is assembled and supported in the USA by Systemax. The motherboard is made in Taiwan by Biostar. It is an excellent computer and has served me well.

    • 0 avatar
      AteMile

      @MarcKyle64, I agree with you. Even though many people argue that ratio of Chinese import defects are actually lower compared to other developing countries, the thing is we import so much more stuff from them overall compared to other countries, so I think they deserve more spotlight. I also have a 12-year old computer with Biostar motherboard, it says made in China, but it’s designed in Taiwan I’m sure. I think we should give preferences to countries that are not our political rivals, we should cut China off, let quality suffer a little for now, but aim for the long run. During the cold war, we only traded with our allies, potential nuclear apocalypse aside, our standard of living was the top of the world.

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