By now, it's clear that the Chinese auto industry has shown us a demonstrated will (if not necessarily the complete ability) to copy something that another automaker has made. In this case, the subject appears to be the Local Motors Rally Fighter.
Stop us if you've heard this one before: "The Chinese are coming." According to Automotive News, Great Wall Motor Co. plans to sell its vehicles in the US by around 2015. The Chinese automaker has been researching its planned expansion for the last two years, looking at everything from regulatory hurdles to establishing a dealer network, as well as customer needs and wants.
It may be a spell before Chinese automakers are capable of turning out a globally competitive vehicle. That's the findings of a sprawling 200 page report by Bernstein Research. The group went through the trouble of purchasing two Chinese-made cars, importing them to Europe and disassembling them down to every last nut and bolt. The study also included in-depth interviews with CEOs at each of the major manufacturers, including Great Wall, Chery, Brilliance and SAIC among others. Researchers found
China's product safety reputation took another hit today, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced a recall of 23,000 Chinese vehicles made by Great Wall and Chery. The vehicles have engine and exhaust gaskets that contain asbestos, a known carcinogen that is prohibited in Australia. Both manufacturers have been directed to stop selling the affected vehicles, and owners have been warned not to perform any do-it-yourself repairs that involve the problem gaskets.
Ferrari is not an outfit that would miss out on the enormous opportunity presented by the Chinese market. Having won the grand prix there three times out of the first four it was held, the Prancing Horse marque launched a special-edition 599 there in 2009, followed by an even more exclusive porcelain-finish one-off.
This could be big. It looks like Coda Automotive's follow up to its Sedan might have an especially desirable quality: a low price tag. The California company's cooperative effort with Great Wall Motors has moved on from its LoI (Letter of Intent) status to the official we-are-really-going-forward-with-this stage. As well, the concept behind the vehicle itself has been fleshed out a bit and contracts have been signed, using the Beijing International Motor Show as backdrop.
According to The Detroit News, Chinese automaker Great Wall has made it clear that the company has not been in talks with Saab over a potential partnership. After word trickled down that a $233-million deal between the Swedish automaker's parent company, Spyker, and Hawtai Motor Group imploded, rumors of various other Chinese suitors have cropped up in a serious fashion.
Earlier this morning came word that Saab's deal with Chinese automaker Hawtai had fallen apart. While in discussions with Hawtai, parent company Spyker was evidently also talking with another automaker located in China – Great Wall Motors. According to Reuters, those talks have apparently never ended, and, in light of today's news, we're going to speculate that it's time to escalate the discussion or officially turn off the lights at Saab assembly plants.
Around the same time that Ake Jonsson stepped down as chief executive of Saab, the Swedish automaker announced its expansion into the Russian and Chinese markets – a vital move if Saab is to increase its global market share. But it's not just the cars that Saab and its parent company Spyker are interested in selling in these two giant markets. It's also looking to offload shares in an effort to raise much-needed capital.
While Brilliance takes its leave of the European market for product unbecoming, another Chinese manufacturer, Great Wall, is planning to penetrate further into Europe. The company has been in global markets for about ten years and expects to ship 60,000 vehicles internationally this year, a return to its 2008 number. Some of those will include the Wingle pickup (pictured) that currently goes to Italy and Bulgaria.
China's Great Wall Motor has big plans for expansion outside its home country, and rumor has it that the marque plans to launch an entire vehicle line based on its popular Hover CUV. While it's true that many Chinese automakers tend to crib designs from other manufacturers, Great Wall takes it a step further and borrows the entire chassis from an older Toyota 4Runner model. The exterior styling for the current Hover is based on the unloved Isuzu Axiom from 2002, and the engine is supplied by Mit
One of Chrysler's long term success trategies is to partner with as many other automakers as possible to share the burden of developing new cars that would otherwise sink the Auburn Hills-based company if it were forced to go it alone. For the longest time we've known that the Pentastar was in talks with various Chinese automakers to develop a small car, and so far the only fruit of that is a rebadged version of the Chery A1 called the Dodge Breeze that's been spied out and about. China Car Time
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