QOTD: What Do You Want To Know About North America's First Chinese Car?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

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.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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9 of 51 comments
  • Johnny ringo Johnny ringo on Oct 04, 2012

    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.

  • Slab Slab on Oct 04, 2012

    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.

    • WRohrl WRohrl on Oct 05, 2012

      If you drive a car built within the last decade, more likely than not you already have a slew of Chinese parts in it. Sheesh the entire ENGINE from the original Chevy Equinox was built in China as is the gearbox in a current Mustang GT.

  • Icemilkcoffee Icemilkcoffee on Oct 04, 2012

    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.

    • Niky Niky on Oct 05, 2012

      The ZAP Xebra beat it by a few years. As did the sand Reeper. Both barely classifiable as cars, but they are road legal. Electrovaya's Maya proposal was based on the Channa Benni, but never saw the light of day. Heck, most of the EV startups that sprang up like mushrooms in 08 featured Chinese "gliders" (bodies).

  • L'avventura L'avventura on Oct 04, 2012

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Dimwit Dimwit on Oct 05, 2012

      @niky Honda was underwater not too long ago. It's amazing that they're up and running as well as they are without trying to export to NA. They wouldn't have the capacity to service this market from Thailand anyway. It will be interesting to see if there's a difference between the Chinese Fits and the Mexican. I could see the MY being discounted because of the Chinese aspect in years to come.