By on November 15, 2017

Image: 2017 GAC Trumpchi GS8It’s no use continuing with the idealistic notion that North America will reject advances from Chinese-made cars on our shores. The Buick Envision is Fabrique en Chine, as well as the long-wheelbase Volvo S60, and more recently the Volvo S90. Yesterday, Steph Willems reported on a patent filing from the Guangzhou Automobile Company for its largest SUV offering, the GS8.

You don’t have to like the upcoming Chinese onslaught, but it’s necessary to accept it as reality. So, today we’re asking you to twist your mind and wring from it your thoughts on what it would take for a Chinese auto manufacturer to be successful in North America on a large scale.

It’s perhaps easy enough for an American company like Buick to foist a Chinese-made product here when it’s wearing an American badge. And Volvo (owned by Chinese company Geely) markets its Chinese Volvos with a regular Volvo badge on the front — hardly an indication of the country of manufacture. What we’re talking about here, however, is a new brand entry.

Whether GAC uses its Trumpchi name in North America (probably not advisable), or comes up with something more palatable to English-speaking tongues, the result is the same: A brand new line of cars from China, foregoing the benefit of a familiar-to-locals badge at the front.

Image: 2017 GAC Trumpchi GS8GAC indicated it would not rule out distributing vehicles through FCA dealers. Let’s assume Sergio is not prepared to reject Chinese funds outright, and agrees to such a distribution arrangement. In every major city, Trumpchi or similar-branded vehicles start appearing on lots, sitting next to Durangos, 300s, and the Fiat 124.

What will these vehicles need to be to interest the average consumer, to get them to overcome an inherent bias of purchasing a whole car from a country that supplies probably 70 percent of their household appliances? Price, styling, reliability, economy, service, luxury? We want you to make the case for the success of a full-line Chinese brand offering in North America.

It happened with Japan, it happened with Korea, and it’s about to happen again. The payout is 25:1, so enter your bets.

[Images: GAC]

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130 Comments on “QOTD: How Can I Get You Into a Chinese Car Today?...”


  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I think we should consider the difference between “Chinese made” and “Chinese designed/engineered/managed”.

    Honestly, we can see that China, as a country, can build things very well. Almost all of our consumer electronics are made in China and they generally work very well. The majority of our appliances are probably made in China, as well.

    There’s really nothing wrong with Chinese manufacture (aside from the “stealing our jobs” issue which is more about corporations being greedy and Americans being cheap).

    The bad rep that products manufactured in China get is due to the cost-cutting measures during engineering, design or production of the lower-grade goods. If this is properly controlled, I don’t see why they couldn’t succeed here on a technical level.

    That said, the issue of public perception is HUGE. The current political climate is whipping people into a frenzy about off-shore jobs. This political narrative will dove-tail nicely with the perception of all Chinese goods being inferior to US-made goods.

    What will it take? Probably the same thing it took to get Americans to take Hyundai/Kia seriously (and that’s still an ongoing battle).

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “The current political climate is whipping people into a frenzy about off-shore jobs.”

      It is? That ship sailed 30+ years ago.

      I don’t like it, either, having watched 80 manufacturing jobs from my last company go to Mexico, and having my own job there be threatened by a low-cost Chinese substitute.

      On the other hand, I rarely hear anyone say they want to pay more, just because. Consumers are seeking *reasonable* quality at the lowest possible price, which often equates to Chines manufacture.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “The bad rep that products manufactured in China get is due to the cost-cutting measures during engineering, design or production of the lower-grade goods. If this is properly controlled, I don’t see why they couldn’t succeed here on a technical level.”

      That is not an insignificant “if”. It’s a huge, glaring, blaring, red light and siren warning the buyer.

      Let’s face it: it’s the Chinese culture to cut every corner if no one’s looking, all toward the almighty revenue. And I seriously doubt that even Buick is always looking.

      I bet Chinese plants pull crap about which even UAW line animals from the 70s would say, “That’s just WRONG…”

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    It is disheartening. I’m not sure if my reservations are rational or not but this bothers me. I don’t have a problem with imports. If someone builds a good product and sells it here it will sell. The problem I have is the perception that the Chinese steal intellectual property and that American companies don’t get a fair shake from the Chinese Government. It seems our own government doesn’t have the courage to demand fair trade from the Chinese because they own trillions of dollars of our national debt with the debt growing every day. Our elected “leaders” have sold us out to keep funding their personal popularity and stay in office. So I fear it is only a matter of time until the Chinese will overpower the domestic automakers and all production of automobiles in this country will cease.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      China is our gov’s credit card. They steal IP? not really. Our companies themselves brought it there.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        They “brought” it there because in order to do business in China they were/are required to hand the IP over (or, if not…simply have it stolen). Forced lopsided JVs with typically gov-owned/controlled businesses, massive tariffs if not. It’s only “cheap” up front, but does nothing to weigh the costs to our economy, standing or independence. I’m all for fair trade. China isn’t it. And while I fully understand that not every purchase will be able to avoid a “Made in China” product, I do my darndest to make sure it does.

        • 0 avatar
          conundrum

          Those US and European companies just couldn’t help themselves though, could they? Even 50% luverly profits drove them to put in factories in China, they couldn’t help themselves. They just rubbed their fingers in scroogely delight, waiting for those next quarterly reports and the shower of congratulations due them from their colleagues. Who then proceeded to join in the snouting at the trough just as soon as they could.

          And now, snootily sitting in judgment 25 years later, people such as yourselves loftily declare it’s China’s fault for only allowing 50% ownership.

          The rules were known from the beginning, but now you have decided to boycott products made by foreign companies within China’s borders, bringing up xenophobic arguments on quality while no doubt carrying a smartphone, most made in China by a foreign country’s subsidiary, using cheap Chinese labour to maximize profits.

          The puerile logic, the inability to criticize US companies who “did” it to your own populace to make a few extra bucks and to hell with American workers who could rot on the vine for all they cared – now all this is China’s fault. Breathtaking hypocrisy is what it all is.

          The way Americans manage to blame everyone but themselves for their own behavior is the amazing thing to me. Logic is completely missing, but that doesn’t stop the litany of general whining and lack of criticism of your own business leaders, none of whom care what you think in the first place.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They just have to replicate everything Hyundai did, minus the bad early years.

    Country of origin doesn’t seem to matter much anymore, which saddens my inner flag-waver. There are many reasons people don’t care, but one is the elapsed time after having a shooting war with the country in question.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Americans were eagerly buying cars from the same country that brought us Auschwitz barely 15 years after the war ended.

      It took a good 25-30 years for Americans to accept cars from the country that brought us Pearl Harbor.

      Not sure what that tells us about Americans…but there you have it.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Americans are a forgiving people, that’s what.

        We buy Vietnamese-produced clothing, too, and we lost that war. I think the psychology on that one is rooted in pennance.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        The same country that brought us Auschwitz also had a reputation for quality goods long before the war. Japan did not.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Agreed, Japanese quality didn’t come along until 30 years later. And Japan was hardly selling the kind of cars America wanted, they were far too tiny. Even through the 80s, Japanese cars were a size too small, but people put up with that for the reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            For quite a long time Japanese-made was synonymous with cheap and disposable. Germany on the other hand has always been a manufacturing powerhouse.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “For quite a long time Japanese-made was synonymous with cheap and disposable.”
            True but:
            The Japanese onslaught was due to the malaise era of domestic automobiles. One bought “cheap and disposable” because it was better than the domestic effluvium. Add to that the fact that the “domestics” jumped on the truck/SUV bandwagon as a way to avoid emissions and CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        The Japs pulled a sneak attack on us, and in many ways were more vicious than the Gerries were during the war.

  • avatar
    NN

    I see this happening best in one of two ways: One, they could throw a political bone and buy out an old shuttered GM plant in Michigan or something like that to do CKD assemblies on their vehicles. This avoids import tariffs as well, which would allow them to say “Assembled in the USA” on their commercials, while still having the vast majority of parts coming from China and maintaining their cost effective nature. And Trump would brag about getting a Chinese company to hire Americans, which would help GAC greatly in the image department.

    The second option would be for them to do something like Cadillac’s car-switching lease program but at an insanely low price. What if you could lease these cars and switch between models every few months for as little as $199 per month, with insurance included? Not sure how the money would work out, but Americans will always go for a deal. I think from a monetary perspective they would have to do something like this to break through the noise.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      There’s no way a Chinese-owned/operated assembly plant will happen in UAW country. (Parts suppliers are a different thing, tho.)

      If anything, it would make sense to set up shop somewhere down South like all of the other newer transplants are.

      The most sense would be Mexico, but politically unpalatable in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Domestic content is currently a big issue with NAFTA so I highly doubt that the Chinese will get off easy but then again, China owns way more of the USA’s debt than either Canada or Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “Assembled in the USA” on their commercials, while still having the vast majority of parts coming from China”

      This is basically what GM is already doing on a lot of their cars.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        It’s not just GM, but true…

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          GM is one of the most egregious offenders in terms of what % it is. Although I think there are now even some Malaysian parts as well, in hot pursuit of the lowest bottom-barrel bidder. Having said that, last time I bought oil filters my Denso filters for the Camry and 4Runner were both Chinese. The Ranger’s oversized Motorcraft FL1A was good old USA.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    There’s a big difference between buying a Chinese-made IPhone and a $35,000 car.

    The success or failure of Chinese companies here will begin or end with quality.

    But I also see an opening for them to do business differently. Instead of the standard dealer model, why not try more of a one-price marketing strategy? Offer an honest value with transparent pricing, and they might have something.

    They’re starting from square zero, so why not give it a shot?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      “country that supplies probably 70 percent of their household appliances”

      I have not single Chinese appliance. so that statement is false. Don’t sweat. We will not buy C-cars

  • avatar

    Three words: Cheap, Cheap, Cheap

    And a long full warranty. You make it cheap and promise to fix everything for 100k miles and you will automatically have customers who have been priced out of the major brands. There will be people who are willing to give it a chance because they can’t afford a larger major brand car. They will live in subprime hell for a while too and probably not be profitable. But if they can prove reliability they could end up being a player in the Kia/Hyundai/Mazda level. I just don’t see them taking on the bigger companies though. Eventually people will accept it and move on.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree, if they can be *significantly* cheaper, not $1500 less than a Toyota, they will find buyers.

      As more established automakers move away from fleet sales, I don’t see why they couldn’t fill that void.

      Plain (read: inoffensive) styling, priced very low, acceptable features and quality. Those are their keys to success IMO.

      If that SUV up there was the size of a Highlander but costs similar to the CH-R, that would tempt value-conscious buyers.

      I would like to see trucks and truck-based utilities (instead of crossovers), but that’s probably hoping for too much. A new smaller truck for $13k? That would work. They’d need a manufacturing presence here to pull it off. I’m all for them buying a shuttered plant here, such as the defunct Mitsubishi plant in Illinois, assuming its still standing.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. Don’t be a car
    2. Be a SUV or CUV

    /fin

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    If you price it cheaply enough, and show that it has crash test ratings either equal to or exceeding other vehicles in its class, it should do reasonably well. A very generous bumper-to-bumper warranty would also help.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    As long as the quality is much better than the Honda dirt bike copies they have been sending here. Otherwise Yugo has better quality control.

  • avatar
    ajla

    FWIW, I’m bothered much less by a Chinese company selling Chinese-labor & parts built vehicles under a Chinese brand label than I am an American/Swedish brand using Chinese-labor & parts to sell under an American/Swedish label.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    It’s gonna revolve around quality for price, and as Clarkson and May famously reviewed, it’s not there yet – but the Chinese make leaps and bounds in incredibly short time (partially from stealing intellectual property).

    I know the wave is coming, but how and where it breaks ashore will revolve around how they market these here.

    • 0 avatar
      nvinen

      From what I saw late last year in China, their cars have improved quite a bit in the short time since Top Gear did that segment.

      I’m starting to see the occasional Chinese-built car on the streets of Australia. Mainly SAIC LDV vans and the occasional Great Wall pick-up. I believe they are both quite a lot cheaper than other vehicles in their respective segments.

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        Doesn’t surprise me, the quality improvements. They are a very resourceful people and underestimating them is done at one’s peril.

        I’d wager within five years they will be fairly commonplace in the US and CAN, and within 10 be as “acceptable” as a Kia.

  • avatar
    Car Guy

    Nope, not me. There are too many reports of using substandard and/or counterfeit parts from Chinese made goods. Not when my life is trusted to things like airbags and seatbelts. I have no confidence corners will not be cut .

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      This will be the issue. The manufacturer of the vehicle most likely would not be the bad guy – they want to build decent quality vehicles, sell them, make profits. The problem will be the local suppliers – as any vehicle manufacturer currently does, parts for the assembled vehicle come from local small suppliers who make the parts for the vehicle more cheaply. There’s probably not a whole lot of oversight for these small manufacturers as it’s not really a part of the culture in many developing nations. The manufacturers just source the part: If it’s cheap, looks right and fits in the slot, use it. I remember the fasteners (nut/bolts/etc.) from the Pacific Rim countries that were failing and dangerous several years ago (a real headache in the nuclear plant) as well as the melamine in the baby milk and deadly dogfood – these weren’t due to the final producer/manufacturer of the product but the lousy sourcing of materials for production from small suppliers cutting corners. Someone here on TTAC has an Envision and perhaps he can keep us informed on any issues with a Chinese-made vehicle as he puts the miles on it.

      • 0 avatar
        Car Guy

        I know people who work with Chinese manufacturing that build products for western companies. As you have pointed out, the problem is once you are in production it’s their mindset to begin substituting cheaper parts from local suppliers and concealing it from the client to start pocketing the savings. Unless you have outsiders watching quality during production like a hawk it will always be a concern. Even that isn’t a guarantee.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        So, you are saying people don’t want a cheap knockoff of the Takata airbags?

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      You can be sure that corners will be cut. Chinese business philosophy and practices are that if you can pull a fast one on your customer and they don’t notice, it’s their fault. Our cutthroat business practices have nothing on theirs.
      You buy baby formula, then find later that it’s cut with melamine.
      Do a little internet searching on how Christmas lights are made.
      If you want cheap, then cheap is what you will get.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      That’s an anti-Chinese comment. Trying to get a foothold in North America-and cutting costs (counterfeit airbags) is ludicrous.

      File that under “it’s not going to happen”.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Rationally, sort out their working conditions for menial employees, and prove about a decade’s worth of compelling, quality product.

    Irrationally, stop using foreign real estate to park money offshore.

  • avatar
    NN

    I was recently in China and saw these Trumpchi’s on the road. They have the proportions of 90’s-00’s Land Cruisers. That will connect with the American public, especially if they perform well off road. To be able to buy an inexpensive and capable off roader is a niche that has gone unfulfilled. All the existing manufacturers want to get you into a $40k+ 4×4. In China, the pricing on this model starts at $22k, and completely loaded is at $32k.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I doubt the average car buyer gives a hoot where their car came from, just like they don’t care where their other appliances came from, as long as they look snazzy and work reliably.

    My ex-wife got an LG washer and dryer set, her new husband told her it was the “Mercedes” of appliances. She was bragging to me about it, and it tickled me to tell her it was the Kia of appliances. She had no clue where the items came from and would have never known the difference.

    If the price is right and the reliability is there, people will buy almost anything.

    • 0 avatar

      Life is Good!

      babba dapp baaa daaaaa

      (Jazzy theme song for LG which was a ringtone option on my LG phone in Korea.)

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Ha, the faces people make when I tell them: “do you remember Goldstar?”

      Perception is 95% of the battle.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “just like they don’t care where their other appliances came from, as long as they look snazzy and work reliably.”

      I have a house full of 70s and 80s appliances (fridge/freezer, dishwasher, stove/oven, washer, dryer) which all work outside of two burners on the circa 1975 Kenmore stove/oven. The chance of this happening with 2017 appliances in 2059 is zero. Today is junk on purpose. Their thought is, eat it prole.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      All of Whirlpool’s washing machines are made in Ohio. Just sayin’.

      Oh, and GE’s appliance division pulled a Volvo – they’re owned by the Chinese now.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Washer, dryer, and fridge all 80s GE. My mission should I choose to accept it, is to repair and extend their lifespans out as long as possible. They have already outlasted generations of their successors.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          My Iowa built 90s era Maytag dryer (bought at a used appliance store) started to make some loud squealing noise last year. In about an hour I was able to disassemble the whole unit down to its carcass, find the rusty/worn bearing surface, put some lithium grease on it, and reassemble. Running perfectly since then.
          Contrast that to the high end control-panel equipped chiming LG dryer my in-laws just had to scrap out, it started to throw a door-closing fauly or something and my electrical engineer father in law wasn’t able to fix it. Sounds kind of like a German car, eh? Solution is a new $1k Samsung dryer.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Contrast that to the high end control-panel equipped chiming LG dryer my in-laws just had to scrap out, it started to throw a door-closing fauly or something and my electrical engineer father in law wasn’t able to fix it. Sounds kind of like a German car, eh? Solution is a new $1k Samsung dryer.”

            This simply amounts to theft on the part of the industry.

            You’ll get stealing and like it.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            Our Maytag washer and dryer are both 30 years old, and I’ve been able to keep them running with cheap repair parts and a few hours’ labor over the years.

            Four blower wheels, a couple belts, a couple switches, some rollers and pulleys, and a solenoid – all cheaper than a new machine.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            A few blocks down from me is a fairly nicely kept house with a ruby red HE washer dryer pair (both front loading) sitting on the porch that have not moved since I moved in during the month of July. Definitely too new to be sitting there scrapyard bound.

            I’d have to get close to see the brand but they are certainly “high end.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            We now bring you to, The Truth About Washing Machines.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            My folks are hanging on to ’80s era appliances that came with their 1986-built house, they have likewise been fairly troublefree, the few repairs (heating element on the dryer from getting shorted by a bra wire) have been well within the realm of an amateur DIY-er and parts have been cheap and relatively easy to get online. These are people who could easily go down to the store and buy a new washer dryer set, but my dad is way too stubborn and frugal to get rid of a thing just because it needs some small repair. A Russian expression comes to mind that translates roughly as “I’ve got two perfectly good hands” in reference to repairing things yourself and keeping them going. There’s a balance to be struck with that kind of thinking of course, but there is just a lot of satisfaction from finishing what usually turns out to be a fairly easy and cheap repair on a familiar old appliance that you like that also just saved you a bundle of money as well as the time spent comparison shopping new ones.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Perhaps Korean washing machines, like German cars, should only be leased.

          • 0 avatar

            I think the comparison to luxury cars is apt. Basically they started pushing features heavily on appliances over reliability. Kind of Like Mercedes about 25 years ago. It seems to be working too. While myself and more frugal family members rock older appliances I know a number of upper income people who seem to swap things like fridges every 5-6 years because the like things like french doors and cooling drawers.

          • 0 avatar
            onyxtape

            We have a Kenmore washer/dryer (rebadged LG). I don’t expect a long life out of it – it’s got too many fancy-pants modes which cannot possibly be conducive to longevity. For example, it rotates and stops repeatedly in order to gauge the size of the load. I’m not a mechanical engineer, but I’m pretty sure that sort of repeated movement is bad in terms of wear and tear.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yes, my parents have a GE washer and dryer set. Nothing but problems. You have to restart the washer several times. Its been damn near rebuilt under warranty, and still does it. It was barely a year old and I happened to be over there when they had it apart, the rust looked like a 1979 Honda Civic that was a winter beater in Maine. Shame.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        We just tossed our Whirlpool Cabrio dryer that was 5 or 6 years old. I’ve taken apart multiple times for sensor or electronics issues. This last time was enough. I don’t even remember what the problem was, but I know I followed the troubleshooting guide and wasn’t able to solve it, even though both the control boards (most assuredly NOT made in Ohio) tested good.

        I told my best half that this time we were going to keep it simple. Bought a Maytag dryer with nothing but good old knobs and switches. We’ll see if it stands the test of time, but I don’t see the need for complex logic boards for something as rudimentary as drying clothes.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Sounds like you ran into that bane of all electronic circuits: Cold Solder Joints. They tend to be very intermittent and you may think you’ve fixed it somehow during a teardown and reassembly but that’s rarely true; it’s just cooled down to where it’s making contact again until temperature and vibration breaks the connection. Such an issue can be on any component on that circuit board…including the connectors themselves. The only reliable fix is to re-flow and even re-solder any connection that looks too thin. (You can use a jeweler’s loupe or other strong magnifying lens to sometimes spot such joints but you need to know what you’re looking for and have VERY good light as the crack or break may be microscopically thin.)

          Another issue may be the wires themselves, either broken somewhere down their length or in the plug itself. Control circuits tend to use the thinnest wire permissible to reduce cost and often solid wires, which can be easy to break. Troubleshooting is a hassle, but if you can perform your own repair, you can almost guarantee its reliability afterwards.

    • 0 avatar

      I seem to recall an article from CR about 5 years ago saying that average lifetimes of appliances started falling around the 90’s after peaking at a life span of 12-15 year in the 80’s down to around 10 now.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks for the info. From anecdotal data both listed here and in my experience, it seems the appliance lifespans are actually five years or less in most cases.

        I would also say to CR, explain how my appliances have easily passed the twenty five year mark or more. I see it simply as a reminder of the transition from America to Amerika in the past thirty years or so.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Though prices for these items appears to have fallen by more than the decrease of longevity.

        A dishwasher in 1978 costs $1200 in 2017 dollars. I bought a very nice Whirlpool Gold Series for less than $400 3 years ago.

        So the consumer wins, even if we have to replace more often?

  • avatar
    cicero1

    Not even if they paid me to drive one. Yes, i have no choice but to buy certain Chinese items, but i know of none that are good quality. I replace the Chinese made coffee makers about once a year when they stop working. My 15 year old Aiwa music system, made in japan, continues near flawless work, no Chinese electronic product has lasted 2 years.

  • avatar

    In 2012, I rented a Chinese Chevrolet “Sail” in Chile. It was an unexciting small 4 door sedan compact rental, roughly similar to a Corolla. It was brand new with 30 km on the odo at the airport in Santiago. I turned it in 2 weeks later with 4,070 km on the odo. The interesting fact is that the car was absolutely perfect, both at 30 and at 4,070 km. I used to certify cars as OK to be tested by Car and Driver, Autoweek, etc. I would have given this car out for test at anytime. It was absolutely flawless – dull and slow – but flawless.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I agree with others. One, it can’t be a name that “sounds” Chinese. FCA ought to bring back the Plymouth brand for these. I’m only half joking.

    Second, price. Hell, this might actually be the #1 priority. Sell these things around 20% lower MSRP across the board vs the Toyondas of equivalent feature/trim level and the sales will come. Sure it will compete against some of FCA’s own lineup, but all slimy dealers care about is volume anyway, so a sale is a sale. “Can’t afford a loaded Durango? Well check out this nicely-equipped Plymouth GS8 on the other side of the lot!”

    Third, warranty. The Koreans gained a lot of traction with the 10/100 powertrain warranty. FCA should take it further and go either 7/75 or 10/100 bumper-to-bumper. These are an unknown quantity and giving the buyer illusory peace of mind (considering they won’t keep it more than 3 years anyway) would build a lot of goodwill.

    • 0 avatar
      qwerty shrdlu

      The BHPH lots are going to love selling eight year old cars to third owners if there is still a two year warranty. To avoid taking a bath companies will have to either play games demanding maintenance records and/or build decent cars.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    China owns the future barring any real, true disruption in the status quo in terms of trade flows and trade “deals.”

    You and/or your offspring will all ultimately lease, buy and daily drive Chinese branded and manufactured vehicles.

    China played the U.S. and European corporations (who own the politicians; politicians are merely complete minions for multinational corporations, their bullsh!t aside) badly, with demands such as mandated Chinese Joint Venture partners (needed to gain access to both China’s cheap labor, lack of labor and environmental regulations, and Chinese consumers – with that Chinese Joint Venture partner stealing every last crumb of intellectual property and manufacturing technique), and other such things.

    But Trump will fix all of this, believe me, because he’s got a yuuuge brain, and you know, he would never kowtow to Xi Jinping or the autocratic Chinese, because he’s playing 20 Dimensional Chess, believe me….he’s going to MAGA like you can’t literally believe, believe him.

    In reality, it’s all about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv6RcXa2UI

    By the way, check out this really Patriotic and family-oriented Buick Invasion CUV (made in China, with o8% Chinese parts-content) advertisement that has a white bread, solidly middle class couple and their cute baby:

    https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AJ2E/2016-buick-envision-holidays-2016-baby-monitor

    • 0 avatar

      Buick INVASION LMFAO

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      F*** GM.

      Its clear to me Nixon and Kissinger cut a deal with Mao to begin the process to sell us out, which Kissinger and his successors likely expanded with Deng Xiaoping’s government and it’s successors. This was all planned long ago and outside of the cataclysmic economic implications (think: we know this will wreck Western society in X years in order to fulfill some later objective) the consumer still gets it up the rear end in terms of cost-to-value. I may want something disposable and if I do I should get the disposable cost, not pay the cost of something that should be not disposable and get the opposite.

      Further proof that its called the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Quite frankly it is another cost to value proposition. Value of Chinese exported products is not high, yet pricing will likely be 90% of superior competitors and resale abysmal.

    Why waste my time?

    On a personal note, I’ve been steadily collecting items from Lowe’s clearance for future remodels. Most of the items thus far have been lighting related and all marked Made in China:

    5 x Progress overhead room fixture, bronze. $109 msrp per unit, $20 apiece.
    2 x Kichler brushed kitchen light nickle. $129 msrp per unit, $20 apiece.
    1 x Seagull five socket vanity, stainless. $29 msrp per unit, $10.
    2 x Progress wall mounted bathroom lights, stainless. $49 msrp per unit, $10 apiece.

    There is only so much value in design, wholesale, and retail.

    I still think I paid too much.

    Best to reuse older quality materials or import from Europe. I’ll take Polish sh*t from Amazon.de over this.

    /rant

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Trump on China “then:”

      Campaign event in Bluffton, S.C. – July 21, 2015

      “I beat the people from China. I win against China. You can win against China if you’re smart. But our people don’t have a clue. We give state dinners to the heads of China. I said why are you doing state dinners for them? They’re ripping us left and right. Just take them to McDonald’s and go back to the negotiating table.”

      Campaign rally in Staten Island, N.Y. — April 17, 2016

      “China’s upset because of the way Donald Trump is talking about trade with China. They’re ripping us off, folks, it’s time. I’m so happy they’re upset.”

      ‘Crippled America’ book – 2015

      “There are people who wish I wouldn’t refer to China as our enemy. But that’s exactly what they are. They have destroyed entire industries by utilizing low-wage workers, cost us tens of thousands of jobs, spied on our businesses, stolen our technology, and have manipulated and devalued their currency, which makes importing our goods more expensive – and sometimes, impossible.”

      ’Good Morning America’ interview – Nov. 3, 2015

      On labeling China an enemy

      “Because it’s an economic enemy, because they have taken advantage of us like nobody in history. They have; it’s the greatest theft in the history of the world what they’ve done to the United States. They’ve taken our jobs.”

      Twitter – March 30, 2013

      “China is the biggest environmental polluter in the World, by far. They do nothing to clean up their factories and laugh at our stupidity!”

      Campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Ind. – May 2, 2016

      On China’s trade policies

      “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”

      Twitter – Sept. 21, 2011

      “China is neither an ally or a friend — they want to beat us and own our country.”

      Campaign rally in Manchester, N.H. – June 20, 2016

      “The single biggest weapon used against us and to destroy our companies is devaluation of currencies, and the greatest ever at that is China. Very smart, they are like grand chess masters. And we are like checkers players. But bad ones.”

      Twitter – Aug. 8, 2012

      “No surprise that China was caught cheating in the Olympics. That’s the Chinese M.O. – Lie, Cheat & Steal in all international dealings.”

      Good Morning America’ interview – Nov. 3, 2015

      “But when you see China, these are fierce people in terms of negotiation. They want to take your throat out, they want to cut you apart. These are tough people. I’ve dealt with them all my life.”

      ****TRUMP ON CHINA NOW**********

      “I don’t blame China and would have done the same thing, quite frankly.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Truth to bullsh*t in a year or less. He has become a politician.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          More like one form of BS to another.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Some of the previous statements are indeed true. My understanding is parts of the West Coast have become de-facto Chinese colonies. I have read similar things about Vancouver but I don’t know enough about B.C. to agree or disagree.

          • 0 avatar
            stuntmonkey

            > My understanding is parts of the West Coast have become de-facto Chinese colonies.

            Not just Vancouver, but especially Vancouver. My friends in New Zealand, LA and New York all have similar stories, it’s because of the massive amount of capital flight out of China this past decade.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve heard the same from my employee in Melbourne.

            Exporting inflation has consequences [for some].

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        What’s actually funny is that where he is now is where he was planning to be all along. We just weren’t piecing together the signs. He wouldn’t have dared run against Obama in 2012, but he was throwing chum into the anti-Obama feeding frenzy from the start.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “I don’t blame China and would have done the same thing, quite frankly.”

        To be fair, this sentiment had been expressed all along at rallies as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        The only remarkable thing is that people actually believed the smoke Trump was blowing out his** about China during the campaign. It’s clear he has more in common with the kleptocrats that rule China (and Russia). He always has any eye on what’s going to be good for the Trump family and he smells the money in China.

  • avatar
    YeOldeMobile

    Chrysler 900 SUV, 2019.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Some thoughts:

    – Even mainland Chinese do not trust their domestic manufacturing. Their political rhetoric might be anti-Japan, but they will take anything Japanese-made in a heart beat.

    -Even if it is an international brand made by a foreign owned factory, many well-healed Chinese feel that buying the same item outside of China is more “authentic”.

    – If you look at two recent brands that did grab a foothold outside of China, OnePlus and DJI, they did it by being disruptive. Otherwise, both are known for having problematic customer service.

    So either have a Chinese car brand with amazing design and function that you tempt people in or completely ace all crash and durability tests to lay down a reputation.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    We’re not far off at all. American conservatives have no problem hearing Rush Limbaugh pitch Mahindra tractors daily on Fox Radio, so how different is it really? Supposedly pro-Union democrats have no problem driving their imported Volvos and Prius already.

    If Indian tractors can get pitched to the american heartland under the guise of making america great again, all a Chinese car company needs is a little spit polish, the right person pitching the product, and a solid price point.

    We’ll buy cheap crap en masse regardless of where it’s made. We love to talk about small towns and American made, but vote with our wallets otherwise… see the rise of Walmart.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      ^This.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice post, but the larger picture has been the continuing decline of wages vs costs, exportation of jobs, and debasement of currency/huge debts.

      Well lets see, no job/fake job doesn’t leave me much income and the real cost of living is *much* higher than advertised, oh and to kick the can the kleptocrats just keep growing the deficit through payments to cartels (health cartel, pharmaceutical cartel, MIC). Really its all been a death spiral. Other than propaganda and perhaps fear, the only thing I believe which has prevented a revolution, other than the police state they built being proactive, is the existence of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (which they would absolutely use if they deemed it necessary). Unlike say, a legion of riot police, operators of these weapons are not numerous so the odds of disobedience diminish vs something like the Bonus Army situation.

      “Bonus Army was the popular name for an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 U.S. World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1932 to demand cash-payment redemption of their service certificates. Organizers called the demonstrators the “Bonus Expeditionary Force”, to echo the name of World War I’s American Expeditionary Forces, while the media referred to them as the “Bonus Army” or “Bonus Marchers”. The contingent was led by Walter W. Waters, a former sergeant.

      ***Many of the war veterans had been out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression***. The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 had awarded them bonuses in the form of certificates they could not redeem until 1945. Each service certificate, issued to a qualified veteran soldier, bore a face value equal to the soldier’s promised payment plus compound interest. The principal demand of the Bonus Army was the immediate cash payment of their certificates.

      On July 28, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. ***Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died***. ***President Herbert Hoover then ordered the Army to clear the veterans’ campsite***. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks. ***The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned***.
      A second, smaller Bonus March in 1933 at the start of the Roosevelt administration was defused in May with an offer of jobs with the Civilian Conservation Corps at Fort Hunt, Virginia, which most of the group accepted. Those who chose not to work for the CCC by the May 22 deadline were given transportation home.[1] In 1936, Congress overrode President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s veto and paid the veterans their bonus nine years early.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army

      Now imagine this with much more firepower and an attitude to enact government change vs demanding payment to feed their families during the Fed induced Great Depression. What happens?

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    Nuts. Cold day in hell I’ll buy a Chinese vehicle. What Chinese product last more than 2 years. They can’t get a toilet seat right (on my 3rd in as many years).

    • 0 avatar
      xflowgolf

      apparently you still bought it 3 times though…

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Honestly, the only time I bought a U.S.-made toilet seat, it was the worst of the bunch. Americans can make a decent gun, but not a decent toilet seat.

      • 0 avatar

        If you’re lucky, you can find an older, preowned U.S.-made toilet seat from back “when they made things like they used to”. You can look in thrift stores, or buy an old house with the original toilet seats. My 1940 house has an amazing American toilet and seat. The seat is solid as a rock, and it is the only toilet that I have never clogged. I don’t even own a plunger anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Al Bundy, is that you?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          All of three of the toilets I have are circa 1975. The water outlet in the wall would not turn all the way off over the weekend to enable me to change the gaskets in ye old toilet, so I called the plumber. I was told after he fixed it to hang onto my toilets as long as I can. I have argued for years 1970 was the height of American power and society. Vietnam, in *many* facets, really did torpedo the nation.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            “Sit down, let me tell you the story of the Ferguson. Now these babies were made in Maine you know… It’s the Stradivarius of toilets, and my dad could play it like a violin.”

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL2YRDzpTL4

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Doing well in IIHS testing would help – then a long warranty – then at least 25% cheaper than it’s competition.

    That would get me to THINK about it.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I tried posting about fake steel certificates I found in China. My point ultimately being that anyone building a car in China likely has no idea what it’s made of. Is something getting caught in the filter?

  • avatar
    Fred

    Price sells. People bought 20 year old Fiats built by commies simply because it was cheap. Of course sooner than later you will have to get the quality up, which Hyundai/Kia have done. Still they are sold on the value proposition.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      Fred-I bought my wife a Hyundai Santa FE 7 passenger-and it was thousands less than the Pilot or Highlander.

      Is it inferior-in some ways yes-but not enough to have me shell out for a Honda or Toyota.

      And having just got back from a multi-state trip, it performed flawlessly.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Wonder what it would take to get a franchise for a Chinese manufacturer. It would be like buying a Honda dealership in 1972.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Chinese vehicles built using American, European or even Japanese/Korean designs and brands will probably sell quite well, because they’re perceived to be the product of their branded company.

    Chinese vehicles using Chinese branding and designs will likely sell very poorly due to the age-old reputation that “Made in China” tag has developed over the last four decades.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Man, that thing looks like a faithful rendition of the Family Truckster if they started with a Forester.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Price your cars one class size down. Overbuild the crap out of them to where the engines are indestructible (when Toyota engines could be tuned up to 700+hp on stock internals?)

    10 year bumper to bumper warranty with guaranteed same model or better loaner whenever the car is taken in. Just pick up cars from the owners and drop off the replacements so you don’t spend money on pretty service centers.

    Use US friendly names and hire experienced dealers. Concentrate on saturating one region with dealerships and expand versus just having one here and there.

    Honestly, you may as well not even bother making anything besides CUVs anyway.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Reading through the thread it is apparent that maybe the Chinese do have a chance of producing exportable quality vehicles. This appears to create fear and angst among some of the B&B.

    I would like to point out some observations;

    1. There are those who just make statements along the lines of “Chinese only produce crap”.

    My answer is maybe the “crap” they produce represents good enough value for the consumer. Also, many countries produce “crap”. Do you want to pay more for homegrown “crap”?

    2. The Chinese produce inferior vehicles. Well, I wouldn’t say the US has produce the best and finest vehicles historically. Even the current crop of Chinese vehicles are more reliable than what the US has produced in the past. I would dare to add that FCA, GM and Ford do produce cars on par with the Chinese.

    3. The Chinese are taking our jobs. I don’t think the Chinese have taken as many jobs as some would like to believe. The Chinese have done what the US could not of done for the price. That is create a market of disposable products that need replacing every so often. An example of disposable consumerism is the auto market and the US tries to lead the way with discarding “out of date” motor vehicles to upgrade. But, it seems okay by the B&B for the US to have a disposable auto market.

    The reality is the Chinese will be around exporting vehicles for years to come. They will become the worlds largest exporters of EVs, EVs most can afford without handouts.

    Here’s some food for thought to the pickup frat. The Chinese, even Thailand export more pickups than the US. So, how can the US pickup frat make those ridiculous comments regarding pickups?

    The Chinese are learning. I do believe that the very fact they are Chinese vehicles will have the Chinese exporting relatively good vehicles early on.

    Here is a notable Chinese vehicle we’ll be getting this year. The “scary” part is it has a higher safety rating than many of it’s competitors.

    Here is a link about the new Chinese LDV D90 we’ll be getting in Australia;

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/587441/2018-ldv-d90-australian-details/

    Here’s a link for the LDV T60 pickup. It will be the largest midsize sold in Australia. It comes with a VM diesel, similar to the Colorado, but down rated.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/598929/2018-ldv-t60-review/

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Americans love cheap crap, witness the ascent of Walmart. Patriotism won’t stop them from scooping these up and it will be just another nail in the coffin of American manufacturing.


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