QOTD: What Do You Want To Know About North America's First Chinese Car?
Three years ago, I was counting down the days until Honda tossed me the keys to their Formula Red S2000 press car. Times have changed, and so have I. Honda doesn’t have anything remotely that cool in their lineup, and I’m getting excited to drive the first Chinese car from a major OEM to be sold on our shores. Yes, it comes from the Big H.
This past summer, my friend Brian Makse of Sympatico Autos took the Made in China Fit out for a week and found that it has left nothing on the table in terms of driving dynamics or build quality. His rationale was that high end consumer electronics have been Made in China for some time; why not premium cars?
Even with rock bottom lease deals on the Civic and supply issues relating to the yen/dollar exchange rate (and 2011’s tsunami) the Fit remains popular in Canada, and sourcing them from China is seen as a way to hedge against both of those issues. So why is the Chinese Fit available in Canada but not the United States? The answer is likely political, but we’ll make sure to ask Honda for good measure.
In the mean time, what do you want to know about the Made In China Fit? We’ll have a comprehensive review up after we get our hands on the car, starting October 25th. As always we’ll update our Facebook page during the week with our impressions and perhaps an appearance from Herr Schmauss.
It would be interesting for someone to hold an extended test-say 20-30,000 miles-between a U.S. spec Fit and a Chinese built fit, and see how the two compare.
Are they assembled in China using the same parts as the cars assembled in Japan/Brazil/Indonesia etc? Or are the parts sourced from China? I wouldn't want to be the beta tester for a car with Chinese parts.
FWIW, the first chinese car in North America is actually the CODA electric car, which is on sale now here in the US of A.
Not sure why we're discussing this. We've just discussed the Fit moving production to Mexico. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/honda-to-send-mexica-fits-to-uk/ Chinese car production for global export is a no-go. Honda tried selling the Chinese Fits/Jazz in Europe. No dice. Canada is an obvious test-case. Honda is testing the waters. The high Chinese immigrant population in Canada makes it ideal. Its a stop-gap until the Mexican factory comes online, and Chinese market is at overcapacity now. But the opportunity for cheap Chinese cars has passed. Chinese wages are now fairly high and consumers don't seem to take well to it. For something as expensive as a car, 'made in China' has its risks, and China has not struck any free-trade pacts like Mexico and Thailand (meaning they are subject to higher tariffs). The investments for new automotive manufacturing growth seem to be flowing towards Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, and Indonesia. There also seems to be growth in Russia. Chinese production is becoming increasingly expensive and risky. The fact is, cars will be built as locally as possible. For the US cars will come from US, Mexican, or Canadian factories.