Subaru Shut Out Of China, Pledges Allegiance To The Flag
With a planned Chinese joint-venture between Chery and Subaru now really, honestly dead in the water, Subaru will look to the United States for sales growth, while importing cars to China for the next few years.
With the collapse of the Chery deal, Subaru will be forced to import vehicles to China, and have their cars subject to a 25 percent import duty. Subaru said that Chinese manufacturing would be difficult to establish until the end of their 5-year plan in 2016, but that stipulation likely means that the door hasn’t been completely shut on Chinese Subaru production at a future date.
Other than the WRX/STIs, there's really no market in China for Subaru. There are 2 major categories of car buyers there - either lux or cheap. And Subaru is neither. Subaru appeals to the practical and/or adventurous. Want to haul stuff home for a project? Not in China, where you could hire labor on the cheap. And there's really no DIY culture amongst the middle class there - having to build your own Ikea is a foreign concept there - why doesn't it come preassembled and delivered, they'll ask. Pack up your bags and go on a road trip? Despite the construction of many miles of highways crisscrossing the country, Chinese prefer their prepackaged bus tours even within their own country. Subaru, with its current slate of products, does not belong in China. But then I'm sure some savvy marketer can overcome these things.
"Ironically, China probably needs AWD vehicles in its vast countrysides and dirt-road villages, more so than the US, which is paved coast to coast." Come to Nebraska. Half of our roads are unpaved.
Since they were shut out for being a Toyota "subsidiary" can't they get around this just by asking Toyota to let them share a JV plant or something? Shouldn't be too difficult.
Geesh I always thought importing meant buying something from abroad to sell in the home market and that exporting meant you sent your products to another country. So how does Subaru import to China??