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If Chinese wind turbines are any indication, the Chinese auto industry will have a way to go before quality standards are like anything the WestTM is used to purchasing.  They will reach that point, but in how many years is the question.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 19th, 2008 at 02:31:41 PM EST
Since most what we can buy are manufactured in China, even most of my Harley's parts, I would not be that pessimistic.
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Fri Dec 19th, 2008 at 07:59:55 PM EST
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When it comes to high-quality capital goods, and cars, the Chinese still have a long way to go, and they know it. They ar catching up, but not at breathtaking speeds. I almost did an internship with a large Chinese windturbine factory a few years ago, so I looked a bit into that industry then. Even within China, where Chinese produced goods are heavily supported, this largest company in the country had 8% market share or so, mainly in the low-end side of the business. Exporting was still far far away. They were also very busy laying contacts with the west, offering jobs to western students with no experience at all, with whom they could hardly communicate.

I am still curious what would have happened if I had gone there, but I couldn't fit it in my schedule.

As for the cars: looks are deceiving here. Most Chinese cars have their looks carbon-copied from Western and Japanese cars (the previous generation Corolla in this case, but google the "Shuanghuan CEO" for a nice blend of Land Cruiser and X5), and this makes them look much more modern than they really are. I can't judge on the quality of their hybrid system, but I have very little faith in the rest of the car...

But if decent Chinese cars started to turn up somewhere int he next 10 years, I wouldn't be surprised. Especially if they are not lying about mastering hybrid technology

by GreatZamfir on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 05:41:55 AM EST
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Apparently BYD is primarily a battery maker, so their electric plans are serious. I can see a future fr these cars, even if it is at first just in China. Electric bikes and scooters are already big int he country, and Chinese customers expect a lot less performance from their cars, making them perhaps more willing to switch to electric even if the system is not as polished as Toyota's.
by GreatZamfir on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 06:02:54 AM EST
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The more I read about these guys, the more enthousiast I get... They are definitely Toyota-copiers when it comes to car building, but their electrics seem OK, and this aritcle is great: An american journalist asks some questions about their prototype at the Detroit auto show, the CEO is around and takes them for a drive throught the conference centre, straight through other people's shows.

http://jalopnik.com/344806/detroit-auto-show-world-exclusive-surreal-illegal-test-drive-of-chinese-h ybrid-through-cobo-arena

by GreatZamfir on Sat Dec 20th, 2008 at 06:15:19 AM EST
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