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Geely GE – Click above for high-res image gallery

We've been hearing Chinese officials say for quite some time now that there are far too many automakers in the country for a healthy market in the long-term, but we didn't realize until today just how out-of-hand it may be. According to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua, China has seen an unprecedented 89 new automobile launches so far this year.

That's surely a big number, but it doesn't really hit home until you consider that 89 vehicles in the first half of 2009 averages out to a new or heavily revised vehicle appearing in China once every two days. Of those new designs, 73 were cars, nine were SUVs, six were MPVs and – in contrast to typical American vehicle launches over the same period – only one was a crossover.

As you're surely aware, 2009 is only half over, and there are reportedly some 50 new vehicles still slated for introduction before the end of the year, equaling about 140 new models introduced in 2009. The good news, at least as far the bottom line goes, is that the new releases have translated into sales. The 4.96 million vehicles sold between January and May of this year represent a 14.29-percent increase over the same period in 2008. Still, considering the glut of new models hitting the market, one has to figure that a goodly number of those vehicles will go begging.



[Source: Gasgoo]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I'd assume it's pretty easy to launch new models when you don't have to style them and they're not expected to protect occupants in a crash. And the cheap labor doesn't hurt either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not to worry. At this pace they will run out of external products to cloy by year's end.
        • 5 Years Ago
        China always a hot topic, Geely must be happy~ lol
        Quantumphysics
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've lived in China before.

        So many people on bikes that you could be driving a PRIUS and be considered to be a luxury car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you were Chinese you'd probably feel crazy safe in the newer Chinese cars considering that every time you've ever hailed a cab you were probably riding in a Volkswagen Santana. A car that has all the safety technology of 1981.
        I rode in a whole bunch of taxi's in China, and while I didn't feel safe in any of them the 5 year old Lifan was equally unsafe compared to the Santanas.

        Most hilariously, I had a ton of taxi cab drivers tell me I didn't have to put on my seatbelt. The taxis purposely hide the seatbelts inside the back seats because most customers apparently don't wear the seatbelts and didn't want the buckle clips being in the way. So half the time I hailed a cab I had to dig the seatbelts out. One time a cab driver actually told me not to put my seatbelt on when I started to. Apparently the seatbelt hadn't been cleaned since probably the mid 80's because I ended up with a nice dirt stain all over my shirt from the seatbelt.

        Since most drivers were surprised that I actually *wanted* to put on a seatbelt and go out of their way to tuck the seatbelts away in the back seats I think it's pretty safe to say that most people have a pretty laissez-faire attitude about safety.

        Frankly though most of the people grew up with even more dangerous forms of transportation, and the middle-aged people still remember fun wartime and persecution so I guess the danger of a crappy car just isn't quite as frightening.

        No matter how many taxi rides I took in a Santana though I was always scared out of my mind every time I got in one. For one thing you can't even tell whether you're hailing a 1985 Volkswagen Santana or a 2009 Volkswagen Santana since they pretty much look the same and the older ones sound like they might not even need an accident to fall apart.

        At any rate, even with 89 models the reality is that about 95% of the cars on the street are from the few top tier manufacturers. There's variation depending on what city or province you're in. So if you're in Shanghai you'll see a ton of GM vehicles just because GM Shanghai is over there. But the random crazy manufacturers sell almost no cars, so other than being fun to look at in stunned horror they have no real bearing on the cars being sold. I'm not saying all the cars sold are really top notch (for example I saw a lot of JACs and under the skin those vehicles are all ancient tech) but the really ridiculous vehicles don't ever get driven.

        I do hope that they manage to trim down the number of models being made though so they can put all the redundant money being spent on 89 models into maybe 5 good models or something.
        Quantumphysics
        • 5 Years Ago
        Volkswagon Santanas...brings back memories.

        I meant what I said. So many Chinese people are poor that you could have virtualy any car from America and be considered to be living high on the hog.

        Even if you had a Chrysler Sebring or 300 - you'd be considered RICH.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Quantity not quality
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly right.
        Also, (and this is a slight diversion but) I honestly think that the Geely GE looks better than that new "Grand Bentley".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can we at least lick them safely?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Many American chicks decreases fuel economy. ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are they speeding up the evolution from their Hyundai Excel to Hyundai Equus?
      Will they be at Rolls Royce Drophead level within this decade?

      -What if they start building sportbikes?
      frank
      • 5 Years Ago
      the chinese are going to kill what's left of detroit. give them a few years to improve quality as Hyundai did, and there is simply no way US automaters will be able to compete without exporting all their remaining manufacturing operations overseas.... probably to china. I bet even the Japanese are worried.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @frank
        I don't know about you, but I wouldn't buy a chinese car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @frank
        Nah they can't get awesome government loans like we have.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @frank
        LOL
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a Rolls from the "hood."
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is why i consider Shanghai the automotive capital of the world.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why would he be joking? GM Shanghai is based there and has massive factories...SAIC has it's own separate HQ and factories, as do a slew of other manufacturers. Volkswagens get made in Shanghai, Audis get made in Shanghai, etc.

        And more cars get sold every day in Shanghai than any other city in the world, if only because there's 20 million people living there.

        It's not just factories and HQ's either, lots of design work gets done over there-all those new Buick interiors and most of the new exteriors too are largely due to work done in Shanghai.

        Shanghai is a big time auto city nadnarb. That's why the auto show gets held there, and that's why manufacturers that pulled out of the Detroit auto show and Tokyo auto show all still go to Shanghai.

        I'm not saying that Shanghai is the greatest city in the world-the cultural stuff like museums and plays all feel very contrived. As if they know that they need to catch up with similar cities worldwide and have gone on some mad spree to get it up to par, but you can't actually do that so more or less there appears to be a billion random new museums and galleries and whatnots all with either almost nothing in them or filled with whatever can fill up space. But that's already better than most other cities in China which feel about as unique as a suburban mall does in the US-they all pretty much look the same. And I think even with the rush job I'd prefer it over Los Angeles about 100 to 1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM Shanghai is based in Shangai?

        NO WAY!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is what happens when we have a Free Market. The big problem is that in 10 years the average US citizen won't be able to afford one of their cars. We gave away our entire industry for the fast buck. Someone needs to ask Corporate America "How now brown cow?"
        • 5 Years Ago
        At the risk of sounding "educated", it's college, Frank, not collage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fit, not afford. Americans won't be able to FIT in them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I forgot to give credit to the Collage's & Universities for producing the finest dingbats the world has ever known. It reminds me of the joke "how many does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      If we want to blame anyone it's ourselves. After WW2 America was a powerhouse of hard work, brains, and for a while we used them and became the best country in the world. We got lazy though, and adopted the "can't someone else do it" thinking. After a generation or two of that it's no wonder our children are idiots, our politicians and CEO's corrupt. It does not help that the true "average american" is lazy and does nothing to complain and only looks out for a way to make a quick buck off someone elses work or mistakes.

      I agree with frank - this is a free market at work. It's not the system, it's the people in the system of this country and the way they think that are hurting us. For the past 30 years we as a country have tried to tip toe around everyone, please everyone, and have handed gobs of money away to industry and people that do not deserve it.

      I don't support communist government, but at least they have a unified thinking, and way of life. We might not agree with it, but you can't argue against the fact that the one thing the USA needs is a direction and a hardworking unified thought process.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree completely. Having spent over a year in China studying business at Peking University it's amazing to hear what the Chinese students goals are compared to U.S. college students. Here in the U.S. college students think "I'm going to graduate and get a 6 figure salary, a big house and a BMW". Over there the students I talked with said their goals were to pay their families back for school, find a good job and MAYBE get a car'. In the U.S. if a kid doesn't get a car on their 16th birthday they throw a fit. In China they don't have that sense of entitlement, they value things very differently than Americans or even Europeans.

        I admire the Chinese people because I've seen them from the inside out and not from some half baked CNN report or some spaz's blog on the internet.

        Their auto industry however crude it may be right now has already grown 50 years in the past 10 years. There were hardly any cars sold in China just 10 years ago. Now it's the worlds largest automarket and once their middle class grows (which there isn't one, yet) they will be more apt to buy Chinese brand cars. They are a lot more nationalistic than the upper class of China who value global symbols of success like Mercedes and even Toyotas and Buicks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Handling, acceleration, and braking as well. Though one advantage is greater down force.
      Stop
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seems the chinaese like to live in lala land, release 11 more new models already to makes its people a little bit more proud... or delusional should I say.
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