QOTD Bonus: Would You Buy A Chinese-built American Car?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
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qotd bonus would you buy a chinese built american car

You’re car shopping for your dream car. You test drive it. It’s perfect. Everything in its place. The power … breathtaking. You look at the window sticker and there are a few numbers after a dollar sign. You can afford it — just.

Next year, your dream car will have no discernible differences from the one you are driving today. Everything will still be perfect, in its place, and the power will be just as intoxicating. Except next year the price will go down $5,000 thanks to a “Made in China” stamp on the doorjamb.

Whether toothless threat or real risk, the global automotive markets are so integrated now that GM can say they’ll build more Buicks in China and it’s a real possibility. GM does make vehicles in China these days. Shipping rates are incredibly low thanks to bigger and bigger ships making the journey across the Pacific more efficient.

Fifteen years ago, if a company pulled the China card, the UAW would laugh them off and say, “Yeah, right. We’ll believe that when sweaters and sweater vests become the defacto suit for automotive CEOs.” Now, almost every automaker that sells vehicles in North America has some kind of manufacturing operation in China.

Not too long ago, Honda Canada started importing the Fit from China, and not an eye was batted by consumers. I’d be surprised if a single Honda customer went into the dealer, test drove a Fit, found out it was built in China and decided not to buy it based solely on that fact.

But America is a different story, and GM is a different company. We don’t think of Honda as being a domestic automaker, even though they do manufacture a considerable number of products within our borders. Nor do we feel that Honda owes us anything (besides maybe an S2000 reprise).

Meanwhile, GM does owe us something. We kept them afloat, after all. While they don’t legally owe us — the taxpayers — a single dime at this point, the fact remains they are quickly squandering the very small amount of goodwill they had after the bankruptcy and re-emergence to profitability.

Surely, they owe us to keep as much manufacturing in North America as possible. But they don’t.

If your dream is to own a vehicle from a domestic manufacturer — let’s say Hellcat or Corvette or Shelby GT350 — and they decide to build that product in China while offering a lower MSRP, would you buy it?

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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2 of 185 comments
  • AnalogMan AnalogMan on Aug 25, 2015

    NEVER. I've seen too many examples of the single-minded cost-cutting with so many products made in China. Buying plastic kitchen ware made in China is one thing, but anything with moving parts, no thanks. I don't care how 'cheap' the price might be, if a car is made in China, for that reason alone I won't buy it. I almost didn't buy my 2015 Mustang GT because the Getrag manual transmission is made in China.

  • 415s30 415s30 on Aug 30, 2015

    Well I am a union member in SF and I don't buy things from China if I can help it, I like well made stuff that lasts. I like my old Japanese cars but I would never buy a Shelby built in China, thats fuct.

  • Analoggrotto Buyers are skipping these in droves and heading down to sign the golden paperwork for a new Telluride. ATPs speak volumes and we have 'em. Our customers are telling us that we offer Mercedes quality for a better deal, and our suite of luxury features rivals any luxury automaker. Insult me all you want, but AVMs, DSDs and BSODs tell the truth.
  • Ted Lulis The Exodus from California is mind-boggling. No surprise from the rectum of the country
  • Mr Imperial Seeing the adjusted-for-inflation amount always makes me sick, I can't believe how much it has gone up in my 40-some-odd trips around the sun. Still fondly remember seeing these and Ford Explorers everywhere.
  • Kyl65759578 👋
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