Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
firstmb's Avatar
Date registered: Jan 2005
Vehicle: 2006 ML350
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,434
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit

First China car planned for auto show debut, more to follow.

With nearly 70 new cars, trucks and concepts scheduled for introduction at next month's North American International Auto Show, it takes a pretty significant product to stand out from the crowd. But it's probably fair to say the 7151 CK will draw plenty of attention when the folks at Geely Motors pull off the wraps on the floor of Detroit's Cobo Hall.

The silver, mid-size sedan will be the first Chinese car to share the stage at the annual auto show, which has also served as the backdrop for such brand debuts as the Japanese luxury marques, Lexus and Infiniti. Whether Geely will match their success is far from certain, but there's little doubt the Chinese are readying an export assault on the United States, the world's largest automotive market. Automotive maverick and entrepreneur, Malcolm Bricklin, is preparing a mid-2007 U.S. launch for a line of products he's developing with another Chinese maker, Chery.

While Geely doesn't actually plan to begin selling cars here until 2008, its arrival couldn't come at a worse time - at least for the Big Three. It will debut just weeks before Ford Motor Co. reveals plans to close as many as 10 assembly and parts plants and cut tens of thousands of jobs. General Motors announced similar cuts in November, in response to a steady increase in market share by European, Japanese and South Korean manufacturers.

There's no question the Chinese are building a world-class auto industry. From a base of little more than zero, the country's estimated 200 automakers are expected to turn out 6.4 million passenger cars, vans, buses and trucks in 2006, according to government statistics. That would push production past that of Germany, to make China the world's third-largest automotive producer.

Moving growth abroad

Until recently, most of the country's capacity has been geared to booming domestic demand. And there's been a general consensus that Chinese carmakers weren't up to global quality, engineering and design standards, according to a recent study by IBM and the University of Michigan.

But high double-digit growth rates have dipped a bit, even as more foreign carmakers set up shop in China. And that's encouraging the best of the country's manufacturers to start looking abroad.

General Motors is already shipping to North America a small number of V-6 engines, produced with its partner, Shanghai Automotive. Honda, however, is the only non-Chinese maker specifically focusing on exports, having built a plant in Southern China to produce the small, Fit model for Europe.

It's China's homegrown brands that are particularly interested in finding Western outlets - and generating hard currency without having to partner with U.S., European or Japanese makers.

It appears to be a race to see who will reach American shores first. A year ago, Bricklin and Chery announced plans to start selling the first in a series of products designed for the U.S. by early 2007. That timetable has slipped a bit, Bricklin told

The partnership between Chery and Bricklin's Visionary Vehicles suffered a series of modest setbacks over the past months. Signing up U.S. retailers proved more difficult than anticipated at the original, $15 million asking price. Bricklin now expects at least 50 to be onboard by the end of 2005 - at an average investment of about $4 million.

Meanwhile, Chery was sued by GM, which feared the Chinese maker's name would be confused with Chevy, the nickname for the Chevrolet brand. Realizing, "that was a gamble we couldn't afford to lose," Bricklin agreed to find an alternative name in the U.S., a search now underway.

"We don't anticipate any more delays," the one-time head of the Yugo venture added, and the launch is now on the calendar in mid- to late-2007.

Working with some high-profile Western partners, including Italian stylists Pininfarina and Ital Design, Chery is developing at least five products for the U.S. market, including a mid-size sedan, a sporty coupe, a crossover and a sport-utility vehicle. A luxury car, along the lines of the BMW 7-Series, is also under consideration, according to Bricklin. But it would likely be priced in the mid-$30,000 range, about half as much as its German competitor.

Geely plans more modest

Geely, meanwhile, intends to launch the 7151 CK for around $10,000, less than half what similar Japanese and Big Three models go for, and even under-pricing economy-based Korean brands, like Kia and Hyundai. Extremely low labor rates, averaging $3.50 or so on hour - barely 5 percent of what U.S. autoworkers earn in wages and benefits - give the Chinese a significant advantage.

Geely plans to start selling the new sedan in the U.S. protectorate of Puerto Rico sometime in 2008, along with a two-seat sports car. It hopes to make the leap to the American mainland by 2009.

Its initial sales goals are a modest 50,000 that first year. Visonary Vehicles and Chery, on the other hand, have laid out a first-year target of 250,000, and Bricklin predicts sales could hit 1 million annually, within as little as five years.

Expect to see still more Chinese brands come to the U.S., especially if these first two ventures are successful. A small SUV manufacturer, Hebei Zhongxing Automobile, is trying to line up U.S. dealers willing to sell its bargain-priced SUV. And the Great Wall Motor Co. is likely to make its own debut at the January 2007 Detroit auto show.

Industry analysts, such as Strategic Vision's Dan Gorrell, stress that cost alone will not guarantee these fledgling imports success. Quality problems doomed Bricklin's Yugo, and nearly killed Hyundai after its initial, price-driven success in the late 1980s. But if the Chinese can deliver a blend of styling, quality, features and, yes, a low price tag, they could carve out a comfortable niche in the American market.

Thanks, D.

2006 ML 350 - Black, Appearance Package, Navigation System, Entertainment Package, Sunroof Package, Heated Seats, IPod Integration
firstmb is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 08:52 PM
Boring Cars...meh!
Nutz 4 Benz's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2005
Vehicle: 81 280E, 84 500SEC, 87 560, 89 "300E", 91 500SL, 15 E350 4Matic Estate, 71 BMW 2002, +others
Location: Hawai'i (Maui)
Posts: 16,211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
RE: Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit

Nutz 4 Benz is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 08:59 PM
BenzWorld Extremist
snips's Avatar
Date registered: Apr 2005
Vehicle: B6
Posts: 1,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit

Nutz 4 Benz - 12/21/2005 9:52 PM

Try telling that to people who hate cars, the people that will buy the cheapest piece of shit just to cart their pathetic existence around.

Freude am fahren!
snips is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 09:54 PM
BenzWorld Member
Date registered: Sep 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to Ammonium
RE: Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit

I thought I saw a crash test rating where the midsize chinese made car had the worst rating of any car ever tested.
Ammonium is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 10:51 PM
BenzWorld Elite
iNeon's Avatar
Date registered: Jan 2005
Vehicle: 2008 PT, 1998 neon--1965 VW 1200
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 2,533
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to iNeon Send a message via MSN to iNeon Send a message via Yahoo to iNeon
RE: Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit

i have little doubt that a sub 10k family sized car will sell very well.

i cant comment much, i am just shocked at the pricing! how do all other companies even try to match that? i suppose this harkens back to the volkswagen v. huge giant domestics in the late 50s, but damn, were they 1/2 price?

i know the name beauty leopard draws me in.... the karaoke machine almost cements the deal.....

lovely gorgeousness on drivers impressions of mile of freedom!

This signature removed to protect the innocent.
iNeon is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 07:18 AM
BenzWorld Veteran
Saigon76nyc's Avatar
Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: G320,G-Cabrio,Brabus G300GE
Location: Saigon, South Vietnam------New York City
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Chinese copy Gwagen


I also remember I saw a photo of a Chinese 4x4 that looked very similar to the Mercedes Gwagen.

Does anyone else remeber seeing a photo of it ?

Take Care,


"The Communists will defeat us, not by
virtue of their strength, but because
of our weakness. They will win by default."

Ngo Dinh Diem

<img src="">

Saigon76nyc is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 07:56 AM
BenzWorld Elite
TheDon04's Avatar
Date registered: Nov 2005
Vehicle: '87 300D
Location: haines city ,fl
Posts: 1,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
RE: Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit

Benz Devil - 12/22/2005 2:05 AM

So, are they gonna sell at walmart?[:P][xx(]

Gosh, somehow the international intellectual property rules do not apply against China so they copied lots of other brands. I remember seeing the picture one of Chinese cars that has Mercedes front-end and Bimmer rear-end.

P.S. I am not Chinese.
i bet they will be sold at wal mart on the shelves in like hot wheels packaging and sometimes come in the value pack of 6
TheDon04 is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome