Home to over one billion people, and fast becoming one of the world’s economic powers, Chinese automakers are ramping up their activity both in and out of the country. Economic prosperity has been finding its way further from the cities and the demand for vehicles is increasing. People around the world have gotten used to seeing “Made in China” on many products, but will they see a “Made in China” vehicle on their streets?
Analysts in the US say most likely not, based on economic indicators. Even though China’s economy has grown, it’s currently in a slump, and won’t be looking to export anytime soon, especially to expensive US territories. “The general stance is to build where you sell,” said Mary Barra, head of global product development for General Motors. “It makes sense from a quality, supply chain and cost perspective.”
Another problem for Chinese automakers is that they still haven’t met the strict safety and emissions standards to export to US. Michael Dunne, author and president of marketing firm Dunne and Co. in Hong Kong said, that Chinese automakers “are still 5-10 years from selling cars in the US,” Dunne said at the Fortune Global Forum, “Quality, safety and emissions levels are not there yet.”
True, Chinese automakers export over one million vehicles every year, but not in established markets. Emerging markets like Africa and India don’t have the high standards to meet, and so the vehicles can be built cheaper, to sell to the middle and low classes there. Perhaps in a few years they can pour their profits into safety and quality manufacturing and become more competitive in established markets like the US.