Be Very Afraid: Chinese Copy Foreign Quality
As if the Japanese don’t have enough problems in China, now the Chinese are beating them at their own game: Quality.
“Many Chinese automakers are focusing on improving their quality control by introducing techniques developed in Japan and elsewhere overseas.” This assessment doesn’t come from a propaganda arm of the Chinese car industry.
The Japanese have a wary eye on increasingly scrappy Geely, the company that bought Volvo unit for $1.8b. Geely “has made a huge effort to learn from Japanese carmakers,” says the Nikkei.
Geely even does Japan one better. While Japanese companies use the 5S quality management system, Geely has 6S. And they keep Japanese terms such as “seiri” (organization) or “seisou” (cleanliness). The whiteboards, symbol for Japanese fastidious attention to detail, are everywhere.
Geely hired Japanese engineers to train their workforce. Their molds are made by Fuji Technica. “The dimensional accuracy demanded by Geely is often at the micron level, and the company’s quality standards are no lower than those at a Japanese carmaker,” said a Fujii executive.
Changan also is on a major drive to up the quality of their products. They recruited manufacturing experts from Toyota and BMW of Germany, luring them away with well-paid jobs.
We’ve gone through these phases with Japanese cars, and later with Korean cars. And when the Chinese do something, they usually don’t mess around.
I've noticed that many chinese made items recently have a better look and feel to them. It was only a matter of time before the chinese started thinking about quality. It won't be long before we are paying a premium for quality chinese made items. Who knows, maybe africa will be the new source for cheap labor?
Too bad GeelyVolvo's new S60's Crash Avoidance system only works when it feels like it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNi17YLnZpg&feature=player_embedded
I hope this is happening in other industries, not just cars. It's getting so I can't avoid buying Chinese products, but most are crap and need to be replaced frequently. I'm tired of "saving" money. Of course eventually production will go somewhere even cheaper, and the stores will be full of Bangladeshi, or Zimbabwean goods. I'll tell my grandchildren that Americans used to be wealthy enough to afford Chinese made goods.
Look, Bertel, I know it's your job to sell the stuff, but I'll start buying Chinese the day they stop executing dissidents (and the homeless) with their mobile execution vans. Well, that among a myriad of other things. Until then, I'd sooner walk.