Although India and Sri Lanka are actually the real sources, China's often considered the land of tea -- so let's call this the proverbial tempest in a teapot.
Now that China's Changfeng Group has debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this week, automotive journalists are all agog over the prospect of Chinese pickups and SUVs invading the U.S. market within two years. Apparently, the Liebao CS6 SUV and Feibao CT5 pickup that the company displayed are but the vanguard of a new invasion that could do to GM
That, however, is precisely the point. It's true that new automakers tend to enter the market in a pattern. In the 1950s, when Japan began selling cars here, the offerings were a far cry from the perennially quality-survey-toppingToyotas
I fully expect the same thing to happen with Chinese trucks in general, and more so with Changfeng's trucks in particular. At present, the firm lacks the backing of a major U.S. partner, unlike fellow Chinese firm Chery Automobile, which will be partnering with DaimlerChrysler. Even if Changfeng meets its goal of introducing its wares to the U.S. market two years hence, the firm will still lack a base of trained repair technicians, a logistical system for providing parts, and so on. Support networks like that take time to build.
Moral of the story
Price alone won't be enough. First you need quality, then a network. Otherwise, Changfeng's fate will follow that of the Yugo.
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