How important is the Chinese market to such automakers as Volkswagen, Honda and General Motors? Important enough that virtually every major automaker is not only building modern plants in the Middle Kingdom but sharing their proprietary technologies. The Toyota Prius, for example, is assembled in China as well as Japan.

And the Chinese automakers are just not learning technology. In the past, most Chinese automakers would stockpile parts for their vehicles. Now they are learning just-in-time techniques from their foreign partners, becoming more efficient while maintaining quality products.

"I've seen the Chinese vehicles in China from various, various brands,” said Tom LaSorda, CEO of Chrysler, “and I've said it's a threat that will come to the U.S., I think, by the end of the decade.”

Specific details, such as how the Chinese Lifan Group is trying to buy an advanced factory by DaimlerChrysler and BMW, or how Shanghai Automotive started their own brand while in partnership with General Motors and Volkswagen, can be found at the link.

[Source: The New York Times via CRIEnglish]