Can China’s Chery Sell Cars Here?

While Geely technically sells cars in North American through Volvo, Chery is planning on taking more direct approach. With the help of HAAH Automotive Holdings—a company that specializes in the business of import automotive distribution—Chery aims to import their line of SUVs and electric vehicles into North America under the newly created “premium” Vantas nameplate, starting with a crossover SUV based on their Exeed range of SUVs. Also claimed is that the all future Vantas models will be built in the United States.

While not exactly built in China, would you buy a car from China? Is where a car built or where the manufacturer is from matter to you?

 

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John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/17/20 3:54 p.m.

That American Company from downtown Detroit sells a car  here in the US that is 98% made from China and 2% made from US.  That is the highest percentage of China content in any car sold in America.   The same company also sell the second highest percentage China content car in the US at 26% China and 38% US but that flagship model  is final assembled in the US.  

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

Supporting documentation and documentation from other years

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/17/20 4:15 p.m.

I wouldn't own a Chinese car, mostly because I have issues with countries that have human rights problems.

Yes, I am aware how hard it is to avoid buying products from China. Doesn't mean I can't try.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
2/17/20 4:30 p.m.

They'll sell. At first only to people looking to get a deal, like Hyundai did. Then, to people looking to be a bit more upwardly mobile. Then, by offering extreme value. Remember, everyone hated the Hyundai Excel. Plenty of people love the sonata. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
2/17/20 4:35 p.m.

Unless they can find a partner  that already has showrooms and service area it will cost tons of money to get start out , 

I wonder if they use clones of a Japanese motor / trans  that use the same service parts ?

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/17/20 4:37 p.m.

Sad thing is i kinda like the looks of the purple one better than most the suvs currently sold here.

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
2/17/20 5:06 p.m.

Hyundai was the number one import in Canada in the mid eighties after only a year or two of sales.

If they're cheap people will buy them

Wicked93gs
Wicked93gs Reader
2/17/20 5:25 p.m.

Sure...I would buy a Chinese car...just not THOSE cars....EVs...blah. SUVs, blah. In the end, Chinese manufacturing permeats the entire world economy anyway, what is the difference?

Rons
Rons Reader
2/17/20 5:40 p.m.

In reply to Wicked93gs :

I'm with Shawn one decides what hill they're going to do battle on and accepts the gains and losses as they come.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
2/17/20 5:48 p.m.
ShawnG said:

I wouldn't own a Chinese car, mostly because I have issues with countries that have human rights problems.

What car producing nation doesn't though? Germany? USA? Italy? France? The UK? Japan? I don't even think Sweden is free from those skeletons in the closet but nothing comes to mind right away. 

But this post was not meant to flounder, just ask a question is all. 

I would buy one, if they prove they're reliable first, price them competitively, we already know the parts supply will be limitless thanks to everything already being produced in China anyway. Cut out the whole "assembled in America" markup and I don't see much difference between them and any other vehicle manufacturer. 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/17/20 6:01 p.m.

Just a personal thing, that's all.

I like that I can complain about my government and not get "disappeared"

I don't want things delving into the political so I'll leave it at that.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
2/17/20 6:30 p.m.

My GM UAW Fisher Body 82 year old father-in-law leased a $41,000 Buick SUV thingie that said 100% (or so) made in China on the window sticker.  

I pointed it out but he said he didn't care any more.   

Wally
Wally MegaDork
2/17/20 6:59 p.m.

I'm also with Shawn on this. I buy as few Chinese products as I can, especially on large items where there are numerous other options. I am curious to see one though. We tested a Chinese electric bus a few years ago and it was bus-like but certainly not built to the standard of any other bus we've had.  

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
2/17/20 7:18 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

don't fall for false equivalence. China and the USA are not on the same scale in any sense when it comes to human rights abuses. We have problems for sure but like anything in life it's a question of degrees. If you had the choice would you burn your fingertip or be set on fire? They both involve heat. Might as well just be set on fire, right?

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
2/17/20 7:25 p.m.
ShawnG said:

I wouldn't own a Chinese car, mostly because I have issues with countries that have human rights problems.

Before anyone else says it, all countries struggle with human rights - even the US. But China had and still has some pretty egregious official policies on the matter.

German cars were not all that when they first hit our shores, then they got better. Japanese cars were pretty crappy at first, then they got better. Korean cars made the transformation faster than anything before. So I have no reason to doubt that Chinese cars won't be a large percentage of the US market sooner than later. My only issue is that all the others started out with affordable options, then went premium after a while. Starting with a premium nameplate may not work. As the middle-class continues to disappear, there is a growing need for affordable cars and I was hoping that China would meet the need next.

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/17/20 7:31 p.m.

The Hyundai Pony we got in Canada wasn't even available in the USA because it didn't meet emissions standards.

If it's cheap enough, it will sell.

_
_ Dork
2/18/20 12:29 a.m.

If the home appliance industry is any indicator, they will initially sell well to the tight wads, and then be hated by all but the uninformed. LG, Samsung were junk from the beginning, and now hardly anyone services their appliances. GE, Dacor, Fisher and Paykel ALL Trashed as soon as China began funding them. I have watched the plastics and stainless steel progressively become cheesier, and cheesier. I've watched engineering become less and less repair friendly, and lean heavily toward factory worker speed. 
 

the same way will become the Chinese car.

90BuickCentury
90BuickCentury New Reader
2/18/20 5:02 a.m.

Sure, I'll buy one... when the Chinese Communist Party World Headquarters freezes over. Maybe they'll include a Corona-scented air freshener with each new Chery.

Unfortunately, they probably will sell well to the stupid people that only look at lowest price today, not lowest lifetime cost. Or maybe their quality won't totally suck, in which case I still won't buy one.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
2/18/20 5:53 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Thankfully most industrialized countries other than China are pretty far from "harvesting the organs of dissenters" bad. 

slowbird
slowbird Dork
2/18/20 6:30 a.m.

Have they figured out how to make a car pass the crash tests yet?

PMRacing
PMRacing SuperDork
2/18/20 7:05 a.m.

I worked for Mitsubishi in 2003 when the director of our R&D office left for Chery to try and bring them into the US, and recruited a bunch of the engineering talent from our office. Malcolm Bricklin was behind that attempt.  The director later got into trouble with the law I'm told. I don't know what caused the attempt to fail but it will be interesting if this one gains any traction. Where I am at now uses similar parts made in US and China. The China ones are much higher quality right now. If monitored good stuff comes out of there, but it is impossible to ignore the working conditions of the people making everything.

1SlowVW
1SlowVW Reader
2/18/20 8:47 a.m.

Increased trade may lead to an increase in human rights if the workers in China.

Would I buy a Chinese new car...maybe. Would I buy a cheap Chinese or Indian small truck if it was in my market. I would definitely give them a good look. 
 

Regardless of our thoughts and opinions as enthusiasts and North Americans ( up in Canada here) Chinese automakers will be coming. If not with their own product they will just buy out some existing manufacture and slowly shift production over to China. 

trucke
trucke SuperDork
2/18/20 9:01 a.m.

Don't tell us you will not buy a car made in China.

 

 

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/18/20 9:44 a.m.

It's harder to break into the US cheap transportation market than it sounds. The success stories in my lifetime:

  • Hyundai
  • Kia *

* They got bought by Hyundai, so they get an asterisk here. Maybe this should be only one brand.

And here are the failures that I can remember - every one of these has either planned to bring a street legal vehicle to the US in the basic, affordable transportation category, and either hasn't delivered so far, or imported vehicles for a while but have now folded operations US. There's probably several others I've forgotten. Even the Japanese have a couple that didn't make it. I'm only counting brands that appeared in the US and then disappeared in my lifetime (I was born in 1978).

  • Crosslander
  • Daewoo
  • Daihatsu​​​​​​
  • Mahindra (managed to bring over their Jeep clone without making it street legal, but not their pickup truck)
  • Oka
  • Saturn
  • Stirling
  • Suzuki
  • Wheego
  • Yugo
  • ZAP

It's a tough market even without the political baggage.

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
2/18/20 9:46 a.m.

You forgot Elio cheeky

 

I think some of those on your list didn't fail, but left the market because they wanted to, or because of other bad business decisions.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
2/18/20 9:49 a.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Saturn was an import?

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/18/20 9:51 a.m.
RevRico said:

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Saturn was an import?

It was an attempt to break into the lower priced car market that didn't stay around.

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
2/18/20 9:55 a.m.
RevRico said:

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Saturn was an import?

He didn't specify import

spandak
spandak HalfDork
2/18/20 10:24 a.m.

I kinda like the looks of that, at least for an suv. 
 

I have a feeling they will succeed eventually in the US. China can crank out some high quality products when they want to (my iPhone which I'm typing on is pretty great) and I think once people start reviewing the car apart from the brand it will come out that some of them are quite good. 
 

Now if they could make a small light sports car for cheap I think we would have to start making excuses to not have one. 

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltimaDork
2/18/20 11:03 a.m.
MadScientistMatt said:
RevRico said:

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Saturn was an import?

It was an attempt to break into the lower priced car market that didn't stay around.

"Mad Scientist" Matt Cramer- DIYAutoTune.com

The original Saturn (1991-2002) was very successful. Sadly GM didn't develop new products for the brand and just rebaged stuff as Saturns after that. 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
2/18/20 12:00 p.m.

There is a surprising amount of Chinese content in American cars.  We had a guy on the Solstice/Sky sites that was swearing that he would never buy anything but American and his cars had no Chinese content.  I told him to take a look inside his alloy wheels next time he bought tires - it says "Made in China", and a fair bunch of other parts also were sourced there, Japan, and Mexico.

They had to pretend that Canada is really part of the US for their US content figures or they wouldn't show very well.  I had a guy that swore he would never own a car made anywhere but in the US and he gave me a hard time about my stuff, which is mostly old British but with a smattering of others as well.  I told him that his Camaro had been assembled in Canada, while my BMW was made in South Carolina and so was more American than his car. He wasn't happy.

In an increasingly cosmopolitan manufacturing world, chances are that just about any new car may have 'foreign' content.

PS - some of the guys in our Jaguar club get pretty heated when we refer to their newer models as being a 'Currymobile'.  I say tough Tatas!  

 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
2/18/20 12:02 p.m.

Even EVs are going to require service and repair.  Cars still get in accidents.   Recall the recent topic on Holden/GTO that had expensive parts to fix?

Chinese approach has always been lower-cost lower-lifetime throw-away products.  This might work for $20 tools, but not $20,000 cars.

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
2/19/20 3:39 p.m.

A two door hatchback with more than enough power to scoot and a manual trans?

Tempting, but still no.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
2/19/20 5:08 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

And here are the failures that I can remember - every one of these has either planned to bring a street legal vehicle to the US in the basic, affordable transportation category, and either hasn't delivered so far, or imported vehicles for a while but have now folded operations US. There's probably several others I've forgotten. Even the Japanese have a couple that didn't make it. I'm only counting brands that appeared in the US and then disappeared in my lifetime (I was born in 1978).

  • Crosslander
  • Daewoo
  • Daihatsu​​​​​​
  • Mahindra (managed to bring over their Jeep clone without making it street legal, but not their pickup truck)
  • Oka
  • Saturn
  • Stirling
  • Suzuki
  • Wheego
  • Yugo
  • ZAP

It's a tough market even without the political baggage.

Not to be a pedantic Jerk, but...

Suzuki came over in 2006 and was smacked HARD by the financial recession; their bikes still have dealerships and service here. Daihatsu has one engine and is owned by Toyota as the manufactuer of their Kei cars. Daewoo, Wheego, Yugo and ZAP all had terrible quality control- ZAP in particular had to recall their entire fleet of 3-wheelers for destruction because they literally were rusting before leaving the factory.

RacerXXX
RacerXXX
2/20/20 1:33 a.m.

Parts and cars might be made in China and shipped here to the US but Quality Control and the material it's made of is far superior to what any of the Chinese car makers have!  So NO, I wouldn't buy a Chinese car, ever!  Remember the YUGO???  Hell, even FIAT cars STILL suck, and it's their second time here in the US!  You think they'd learn something after the first time.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/20/20 7:37 a.m.

It will all depend on if they can maintain a quality product. 
 

Many will question buying stuff from China, sure, but for a much longer time we have been hammered to buy stuff, and the more we buy, the better person you are. To spread that down market, buying Chinese stuff isn't that important anymore. 
 

Cheap matters for a little while. And perhaps China can sustain little to no profit on cheap cars. Lord knows the rest of us can't. Helps when capitalism is the enemy in that respect. 
 

In terms of being legal, China has been quickly ramping their rules to be among the most strict in the world, so I would expect them to be ok. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
2/20/20 8:51 a.m.

I have a 2017 Volvo S60 and a 2019 Volvo V60.  So the answer is YES, I would buy a Chinese car.

The S60 was 100% made in Chengdu, China, and the fit and finish are excellent.  In fact, as the long-wheelbase S60L, it wouldn't even exist without the Chinese domestic market.  The V60 was made in Torslanda, Sweden.  The build quality is also excellent, but no better than the Chinese.  The engineering and design teams are in Sweden, China, and the US.  The entire company is Chinese-owned.

My E46 was built in South Africa, albeit in 2003, not 1983.  So there's that.

But I firmly believe that economic pressure and worldwide attention will make the situation in China better.  I do not think that in China's case embargo and boycott are likely to have the desired effect.  In smaller countries with smaller economies, desperation can set in and cause either regime change or revolution.  But China is large enough to shrug us off unless we make it to their advantage not to.  The communist regime in China needs to end with a whimper, not a bang.  Trade and investment will erode their power base closer and closer to irrelevance.

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/20/20 9:20 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

Not to be a pedantic Jerk, but...

Suzuki came over in 2006 and was smacked HARD by the financial recession; their bikes still have dealerships and service here. Daihatsu has one engine and is owned by Toyota as the manufactuer of their Kei cars. Daewoo, Wheego, Yugo and ZAP all had terrible quality control- ZAP in particular had to recall their entire fleet of 3-wheelers for destruction because they literally were rusting before leaving the factory.

Which is why I'm skeptical of the "Hyundai managed to start off in the US selling terrible cars, improved them, and look where they are today!" line of reasoning. Hyundai succeeded at that, but there's a long line of others that tried the same approach and either went belly-up or never managed to launch in the US. And there were several other failed brands from other issues besides quality that Chery could stumble into - wrong product mix for the market (Suzuki, Daihatsu) or failure to update their product (Saturn).

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
2/20/20 9:39 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

Suzuki came over in 2006 and was smacked HARD by the financial recession;

I'm quite confused by this. Suzuki entered the US market in the 80s. What did you mean by they "came over in 2006?"

Regarding the original question: didn't Chery try this once before? I wonder what's changed that will make this attempt actually happen.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
2/20/20 1:29 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Sorry I meant cars, not bikes. Suzuki is an odd example because they still have a market here, just not in 4 wheels.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Well, we have to open and honest about what really causes some of these brands to fail to figure that out- VW with the Beetle easily could have, but as AteUpWithMotor mentions in his massive writeup they had parts and availablity everywhere so they were incredibly cheap to service despite technologically being in the 1930s. Hyundai only in ~2009 stopped using the Mitsubishi 4G-63 and origionated the massive "100,000 mile warranty" in the 90s, targeting people whom remembered when most factory warranties were in months and how lemon laws came about.

So to answer the thread question... Chery is gonna have to push against the "Chinesium" image while ALSO going after a market segment that isn't readily focused on AND stay in-line with current ideals- no small feat, especially when the market is flooded with SUVs and to stand out from the pack you need to be as different as possible OR an EV. I think it'll have to be something like an AWD Hybrid with a crazy ownership plan for normal people to even *look* at it as a second car, let alone trying it out as their only one. Maybe focus heavily on leasing?

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
2/20/20 1:43 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

In reply to dculberson :

Sorry I meant cars, not bikes. Suzuki is an odd example because they still have a market here, just not in 4 wheels.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Well, we have to open and honest about what really causes some of these brands to fail to figure that out- VW with the Beetle easily could have, but as AteUpWithMotor mentions in his massive writeup they had parts and availablity everywhere so they were incredibly cheap to service despite technologically being in the 1930s. Hyundai only in ~2009 stopped using the Mitsubishi 4G-63 and origionated the massive "100,000 mile warranty" in the 90s, targeting people whom remembered when most factory warranties were in months and how lemon laws came about.

So to answer the thread question... Chery is gonna have to push against the "Chinesium" image while ALSO going after a market segment that isn't readily focused on AND stay in-line with current ideals- no small feat, especially when the market is flooded with SUVs and to stand out from the pack you need to be as different as possible OR an EV. I think it'll have to be something like an AWD Hybrid with a crazy ownership plan for normal people to even *look* at it as a second car, let alone trying it out as their only one. Maybe focus heavily on leasing?

So all those swifts and suvs etc just  magically all appeared in 2006?

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/20/20 2:02 p.m.

Suzuki was selling the Samurai in the late 1970s in Canada.

Not sure when the US got it but I'm pretty sure it was the early 80s.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
2/20/20 2:02 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

In reply to dculberson :

Sorry I meant cars, not bikes. Suzuki is an odd example because they still have a market here, just not in 4 wheels.

But they brought cars over here starting in the 80s too. The Samurai was their first entry, but if you discount SUVs, the Swift followed soon after. They had been selling cars here for over two decades by 2006.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
2/20/20 4:29 p.m.

To the human rights guy: Which one of those countries that you listed that produces cars has over a million+ people in concentration camps? 

To the original question: Not at all. I could go on a tangent why and the topics go from stealing intellectual property, lack of quality control and assessment, terrible engineering practices (unless they have their hand held by their manufacturing partner from another country), the way they are doing business in the SCS and Pacific Rim, and the list goes on. 

Read the book: The Hundred Year Marathon and it'll open your eyes a bit

 

Rufledt
Rufledt UberDork
2/20/20 8:32 p.m.

No, but not because of the "Chinese" part. I just doubt a chinese manufacturer will ever make the kind of car I want to buy.  Never cared for any chinese knockoffs of cars I didnt like in the first place. 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
2/21/20 5:18 a.m.

I don't want my car stealing all my personal information, listening to my conversations and sending all that to a database controlled by the government.

Wait, doesn't that leave out every new car made?

I'll happily spend $17.00 on a Chinese motorcycle headlight but definitely not $27,000 on a Chinese car.

This thread makes me want to go rewatch Gung Ho.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
2/21/20 3:14 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Oh, so they were on their own by 2000? I didn't know when they were out of the GEO brand. Learn somethin' new erryday, thanks!

car39
car39 Dork
2/22/20 8:44 a.m.

Chery attempted to start importing cars several years back.  The crash test footage was terrifying, made crashing a car from the 50's look safe.l  The car didn't crumble,it sort of exploded without the fire and smoke.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
2/22/20 9:52 a.m.
Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
2/22/20 4:45 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:
MadScientistMatt said:

And here are the failures that I can remember - every one of these has either planned to bring a street legal vehicle to the US in the basic, affordable transportation category, and either hasn't delivered so far, or imported vehicles for a while but have now folded operations US. There's probably several others I've forgotten. Even the Japanese have a couple that didn't make it. I'm only counting brands that appeared in the US and then disappeared in my lifetime (I was born in 1978).

  • Crosslander
  • Daewoo
  • Daihatsu​​​​​​
  • Mahindra (managed to bring over their Jeep clone without making it street legal, but not their pickup truck)
  • Oka
  • Saturn
  • Stirling
  • Suzuki
  • Wheego
  • Yugo
  • ZAP

It's a tough market even without the political baggage.

Not to be a pedantic Jerk, but...

Suzuki came over in 2006 and was smacked HARD by the financial recession; their bikes still have dealerships and service here. Daihatsu has one engine and is owned by Toyota as the manufactuer of their Kei cars. Daewoo, Wheego, Yugo and ZAP all had terrible quality control- ZAP in particular had to recall their entire fleet of 3-wheelers for destruction because they literally were rusting before leaving the factory.

Suzuki was selling their cars in the US, under their own name, long before 2006.  I'd like to say as far back as the late 80s or very early 90s.

Daewoo was/is GM of Korea, at least that it is what it looked like from here - they got their foothold in the US building captive imports that were Korean-built Opels.   (Front drive Pontiac LeMans was an Opel Kadett) They got their asses handed to them in part because of shady dealership practices.  Something about deliberately only hiring college-age workers for their sales staff and making it come out of their pay if a car sold for under MSRP.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
2/22/20 4:51 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

In reply to dculberson :

Oh, so they were on their own by 2000? I didn't know when they were out of the GEO brand. Learn somethin' new erryday, thanks!

They did both.  You could buy a Swift and a Sprint or a Metro (Chevy or Geo) at the same time.  IIRC you could not get the 3 cylinder in a Swift.

bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin SuperDork
2/22/20 7:52 p.m.

China gave Huawei 70 billion dollars with which to conquer the world. They have a line of credit even larger to tap should they require it. The Chinese have a chunk of every exporting industry, and they are lying, cheating thieving and absolutely ruthless in their quest to be the new top dog. I do not buy Chinese and I don't know why anyone would want to help the Chinese government muscle out domestic car manufacturers. We should have stopped them years ago.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/24/20 8:25 a.m.

An article linked to in the Wuhan thread is also relevant here. For Chinese cars to sell in the States, they'll need to prove they aren't built to be chabaduo

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