QOTD: Will Chinese Automakers Eat Everyone's Lunch?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I just finished reading a piece that's been bouncing around the Internet for a few days now.

Inside EVs sent automotive journalist Kevin Williams to the Beijing Auto Show, and Williams walked away feeling like Chinese automakers are, generally speaking, building cars that could come to the States and immediately steal plenty of buyers from American, European, Japanese, and Korean automakers.

Williams said he saw plenty of Chinese models, mostly EVs, which appear to be better than the vehicles on offer from Western and other Asian automakers in terms of quality and infotainment tech.

To be fair, the story, while well thought-out and nuanced, is William's take -- he might not be correct in his prediction. But he does take into account the geopolitics at play here and takes a insightful look at the market. His take is that non-Chinese automakers are building products that aren't on par with the Chinese, and that could be a big problem for those automakers.

It's a far cry from the days that Chinese automakers were dismissed as building poorly-made copycats of vehicles sold by legacy automakers. Those days weren't that long ago.

I am curious what your thoughts are. Are Chinese cars about ready to come to other markets and do what the Japanese did decades ago? Or are they being helped in their home market by the government? Is the answer somewhere in between?

Before you answer, go read the story. It's worth your time.

Since this QOTD will touch on politics, I will once again ask you to play nice in the comments. The banhammer is ready.

With that said, you may now sound off below.

[Image: BYD]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 74 comments
  • MKizzy MKizzy 4 days ago

    If China-branded vehicles arrive on these shores filling the gaping hole of sizes, body styles, and price points largely abandoned by established automakers, they will immediately find an interested customer base among those low/middle income consumers whose parents were (un)happily puttering around in old Hyundai Excels and Yugo GVs. Personally, I do think BYD or another of their major automakers will eventually circumvent the tariffs by building in Mexico and sending vehicles north.

  • Daniel J Daniel J 2 days ago

    The more I looked into this I'm like..

    Huh? I'm thinking China wants to bring over a 35k nice EV, not some sort of Mitsu Mirage that barely can go highway speeds.

  • ED I don't know what GM is thinking.I have a 2020 one nice vehicle.Got rid of Camaro and was going to buy one.Probably won't buy another GM product.Get rid of all the head honchos at GM.This company is a bunch of cheapskates building junk that no one wants.
  • Lostjr Sedans have been made less practical, with low rooflines and steeply raked A pillars. It makes them harder to get in and out of. Probably harder to put a kid in a child seat. Sedans used to be more family oriented.
  • Bob Funny how Oldsmobile was offering a GPS system to help if you were lost, yet GM as a company was very lost. Not really sure that they are not still lost. They make hideous looking trucks, Cadillac is a crappy Chevy pretending to be fancy. To be honest, I would never step in a GM show room now or ever. Boring, cheap ugly and bad resale why bother. I get enough of GM when i rent on trips from airports. I have to say, does anybody at GM ever drive what everyone else drives? Do they ever then look at what crap they put out in style fit and finish? Come on, for real, do they? Cadillac updated slogan should be " sub standard of the 3rd world", or " almost as good as Tata motors". Enough said.
  • Sam Jacobs I want a sedan. When a buy a car or even rent one, I don’t want to ride up high. I don’t want a 5-door. I want a trunk to keep my stuff out of sight. It’s quieter, cars handle better, I don’t need to be at the same height as a truck. I have a 2022 Subaru Legacy Touring XT, best car ever, equipped as a luxury sedan, so quick and quiet. I don’t understand automakers’ decisions to take away sedans or simply stop updating them — giving up the competition. The Camry and Accord should not be our only choices. Impala and Fusion were beautiful when they were axed.
  • Spamvw I think you need to remember WHY the big 2 and 1/2 got out of the car business. Without going political, the CAFE standards signed into law meant unless you had a higher gas mileage fleet, you couldn't meet the standards.The Irony is that, the law made sedans so small with low roof lines, that normal people migrated to SUV's and Trucks. Now we get worse mileage than before.