• Jan 16, 2006
"I hope the car flops like a flounder," writes Neal Rubin of the Detroit News, referring to the Chinese Geely 7151 CK, recently shown at the North American International Auto Show  in Detroit, Michigan. He points out that, despite all the hysteria about the Chinese automakers coming to the U.S. and stomping all the competition—domestic especially—the displayed vehicles are, so far, a “wreck”.
The glove box wouldn’t close. Corroding engine. Need to pass standard safety and emissions tests. Then there's all those patent infringements that Chinese businesses committed on foreign companies (seemingly  ignored by their government.) One reaction? "Business has to be interpreted in terms of laws around the world,” stated Kevin Wale, Australian president of the GM China Group.


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  • 14 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Another thing is that Japanese and Koreans were in full control of their respective home market when they hit the US with their "self-engineered" cars, as opposed to the present Chinese market where foreign brands control 90% of passenger market and Geely and Chery are trying to survive their fierce homemarket by finding new markets for their "cloned" cars using somebody else's technology.

      I mean, Geely and Chery are insignificant players even in China, so why should they even matter in the US market?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Does he hope the car flounders because it is from China or because they presented a car that was in crap condition?
      Even if the car at the show was in crap condition why would that make him want the car to flop? I would say this is a good example of why a GM and Ford made the Detroit News' cars of the year - BIAS. Which is a perfect example of why the Detroit News is useless along with many other things in Detroit...

      • 8 Years Ago
      I own a chineese tractor that I would put up against
      any other. When you have a chance look under the hood of a John Deer and see who makes the motor.It's only
      a matter of short time for thier cars to catch up. Also the Chineese own some of the ports on the west coast of the U.S. So what import charge is there.
      Think about it.
      John
      • 9 Years Ago
      "I hope they will all flop" ?

      Would it be appropriate to say that about a American or European car ?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Just give it 10-20 years. People laughed about the Japanese and Koreans.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "I hope the car flops like a flounder"

      Why is this such news? I mean, Detroit would love to see Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Hyundai all do the same...flop. But go ahead, keep "hoping"...keep "hoping" the competition will die off, and keep hoping your cars will mysteriously get better.

      So many weak minds...absolutely unbelievable.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You don't have to wait until 2008 to try a Geely 7151CK; you can try them now by buying a used Daewoo Lanos, for 7151CK is a "licensed"(Not sure who licensed Lanos to Geely, but it certainly wasn't GM) Daewoo Lanos replica.
      • 9 Years Ago
      i really do think that for the first few years, these chinese cars will do the "kia". i foresee that they will enter the ring after passing emmisions and safety marginally. sell a sub $10k car with about a 15 yr 150,000 warranty or a sub 20k luxury sedan. they will sell many, only to have them all back in the shop being fixed under warranty. after all of the warranty repairs are done, the company will go belly up.

      i dont foresee chinese manufacturers being a big threat for at least another 5 years. which should give the big 3 time to improve their game
      • 9 Years Ago
      meek, you are mistaken, yes, 90% of the chineese market was supplied by made in china vehicles, but 90% of that 90% are foreign brand cars (GM, ford, VW, chysler, jeep), and AFAIK, none of the foreign manufacturers have a joint venture with either chery or Geely
      • 9 Years Ago
      Automobiles are an iterative process. They may suck now but they'll get better, probably faster than the Japanese and the Koreans before them. If nothing else it's cause they are working off of knowledged gained and paid for by their predecessors. If they make a good product at a good price, I expect they will do well.
      • 9 Years Ago
      So Neil Rubin has a problem with a car from an oppressive communist country that already has a huge trade imbalance over the US. Oh, and the product is of poor quality.

      What he said is hardly shocking, even if he wasn't employed by the Detroit News.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm not sure I'd compare Chinese cars to Japanese or Korean. Chinese manufactured goods tend to be of significantly sub-par quality even as compared to Japanese goods of the '60s. Japanese cars were able to make such an impact on the market because they were reliable and fuel-efficient at a time when gas prices were rising and American cars were large and thirsty. (By the same token, Japanese motorcycles put the British bike industry out of business because they were less expensive, more reliable, and performed nearly as well if not better.)
      Point is, the Japanese brought quality to the table. The Chinese have not. Yugo failed miserably because the cars were appalling; it didn't matter that they were cheap. Are Chinese cars as bad as Yugos? Time will tell, but all the reports I've read don't bode well.
      As for the Koreans, they may have put some pretty bad cars on the market, but they certainly weren't as bad as Yugos, and they seem to have addressed those problems efficiently. What's more, of all the other types of manufactured goods I've seen that are Korean-made or Chinese-made, the Korean ones have been of higher quality (ranging from musical instruments to electronics to machined metal items).
      Finally, I can't disagree with Rubin's comments about China's government and about their industries' blatant theft of patents and technology. For those reasons alone, I would refuse to buy a Chinese car even if the quality were good and the prices lower than anything else in their class.
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