Monday, November 14, 2011

From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Bought in China’

Fact of the day:

Boston Globe -- "China is now the world’s largest consumer in a number of categories, including beer, cigarettes, and — remarkably — cars. Some Western automakers have begun skipping US and European markets and debuting models in China first."

9 Comments:

At 11/15/2011 5:47 AM, Blogger rjs said...

the chinese have been buying more buicks than americans for three years...

 
At 11/15/2011 6:36 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Start penalizing those automakers if they don't start making US-specific, US-first cars. Doubly so if they are variations of the Chinese Third World Hellhole editions.

Chinese-inspired stuff is the last thing the US should be allowing in. If they try to create transplants, level the national security objection at them until they stop.


rjs said...


They're buying back-stretched 4-banger knockoffs. Those are not the same large, US-sized and proportioned Buicks that you or I have known. These cars are not even worth the Buick label.

If the US Government truly controls General Motors, they'd do well to shut down the Buick division and replace it with a more US-friendly one in the US.

Oldsmobile could take that spot, and let the bastardized Buick brand die in China. Promote it as a forward-looking brand that is First World exclusive, as a step or two down from Cadillac.

 
At 11/16/2011 1:15 AM, Blogger StVIS said...

Maybe the Chinese are preferring Western brands over their own cheap imitations. Paul Midler's Poorly Made in China is a priceless insider's account of cheating and cutting corners in effort to squeeze SLIGHTLY more profit at expense of consumers.

Here's a fact. In China, when you buy a flat, it comes with nothing but bare walls - and I mean NOTHING but care walls: you put in the stairs, appliances, toilets, floors, doors, tubs, sinks, etc. Inspite of China's high housing prices, it can cost double to jazz it than to buy it; if you want stuff matching quality of items in the West, it can cost double what you find in the states.

 
At 11/17/2011 12:58 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Maybe the Chinese are preferring Western brands over their own cheap imitations.

The problem is that the brands become less Western, and less bound to the US market that made them attractive.

This can be seen with Buick with its evisceration of all its US history, replaced with European and Third World influences of a US brand. The only thing left is the label.

 
At 11/18/2011 1:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Start penalizing those automakers if they don't start making US-specific, US-first cars. Doubly so if they are variations of the Chinese Third World Hellhole editions.

It looks like you have never been to China. If you had you would not have written as you did.

I had a talk with GM and Audi managers in Wuhan sometime in 1997 or 1998. They pointed out that the Chinese version of our car models were longer because many of the Chinese owners of those vehicles employed drivers and they wanted the extra leg room. They also wanted higher quality interiors and better trim packages. They were not exactly "Third World Hellhole editions".

The problem that those companies have now is that Chinese consumers will reject the big luxury company cars in favour of sportier versions. The young buyers of these vehicles do not use drivers and they like their cars sleek, fast, and luxurious. This is why you see so many German sports cars on Chinese roads. Most of the middle of the road GM, Ford, VW offerings are a big step below along with the vehicles offered by the domestic players.

If the US Government truly controls General Motors, they'd do well to shut down the Buick division and replace it with a more US-friendly one in the US.

Isn't it ironic that you National Socialist types seem to have no trouble with the fact that the US government is controlling GM while you whine about private Chinese companies?

 
At 11/20/2011 3:31 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It looks like you have never been to China. If you had you would not have written as you did."

Based on that, it would appear from his other writings, that sethstorm has never been to the US either.

In fact, I don't believe he ever comes out of his mother's basement.

 
At 11/20/2011 8:54 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I had a talk with GM and Audi managers in Wuhan sometime in 1997 or 1998. They pointed out that the Chinese version of our car models were longer because many of the Chinese owners of those vehicles employed drivers and they wanted the extra leg room.

Those cars are made for Party bosses, as opposed to regular people that drive their own cars.

If given any significant amount of time in the PRC, I'd rather drive a US-edition of whatever car I have instead of the Chinese one. That means the front dash/console isn't made spartan in exchange for a overkill rear seat.




They also wanted higher quality interiors and better trim packages. They were not exactly "Third World Hellhole editions".

That might be for the de-Westernized cars, but the stuff that China makes in-house is not something they'd choose if they had an alternative.

Even as GM is today, it is more private than any of the government-backed "companies" in the PRC.

 
At 11/20/2011 9:44 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Those cars are made for Party bosses, as opposed to regular people that drive their own cars.

There is no doubt that government buys larger vehicles. There is no doubt that government run businesses buy the longer cars. But so do private businessmen who have drivers because they are always drinking in bars trying to win contracts. This is not just a China thing. It also takes place in other countries in Asia, where socializing is part of doing business and businessmen are expected to do a lot of drinking. Try getting around some time and you will see that many of the things that you write about are not as you think that they are.

The last time I was in China one of my mother-in-law's students had her dad pick us up from the airport. He owned one of these vehicles. His business ran gas stations and a specialty lubricant distributor. He was not a party member. Most of the larger cars purchased at the time were similarly purchased by businessmen. I asked about the vehicle, where he got his suits, his wife's purse buying habits, etc. He pointed out that most businessmen pursued similar strategies. They wanted to show their success so they bought the larger, longer cars. Very successful businessmen bought Hermes bags for their wives every three or four months and picked up a few bags for the wives of their best customers. They had their suits hand made and wore $25K watches. So buying a $125K car was not exactly a big deal.

If given any significant amount of time in the PRC, I'd rather drive a US-edition of whatever car I have instead of the Chinese one. That means the front dash/console isn't made spartan in exchange for a overkill rear seat.

I would rather drive the BMW instead. GM and VW, the largest foreign auto makers in China, sell the most vehicles but mostly make smaller cars for the average middle class buyer.

 
At 11/20/2011 9:55 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

That might be for the de-Westernized cars, but the stuff that China makes in-house is not something they'd choose if they had an alternative.

Even as GM is today, it is more private than any of the government-backed "companies" in the PRC.


Actually, that is not exactly the case. BYD is a private company that is listed in HK and has Buffet and a number of funds as significant owners of shares. Even though it was initially founded by SAIC, Cherry is now a standalone company. Both are growing quite nicely and doing well. These are the Ford types.

If you are looking for a GM equivalent try Dongfeng or SAIC.

 

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