10 April 2009

China – Cars Rated

China has a myriad of car brands, most insignificant but a few bigger players.

2007 Production: 6.4 million cars and 8.9 m vehicles in total.

General perception: Some designs surprisingly good but some blatant copying too, crash worthiness appalling, cheap prices and cheaply built.

I say: I cannot argue with the perception although one can expect big improvements sooner rather than later. This blatant plagiarism is a disgrace and the fact that Chinese courts allow it reflects poorly on them. Haste and greed could be their downfall.

Prognosis: A bright future for a few brands and expect big increases in exports. Names such as Chery and Geely, while soundinng unusual now, will become everyday makes soon. Chinese cars pose a real threat to manufacturers in the budget end of the market. They must get passenger safety up and avoid suspect build quality before launching into mature markets or damage their reputation for years to come.

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