Category Archives: Opinion

A Glimpse of Cadillac’s New Role


The Chinese Communist Party will celebrate its 90th birthday on July 1 this year. Among the many offerings prepared for the 90-year-old is the Cadillac-sponsored, star-studded propaganda film, "The Founding of a Party," which is schedule to hit theaters across China on June 15 (see our post "Cadillac Sponsors Communist Propaganda Film"). On March 29, […]

Hawtai Motor’s Clean Diesel Gamble


China’s car craze in the past decade has made some wild dreams come true. Companies started just a few years ago now challenge global brands in the domestic market. As the country enters the 12th 5-year development period, wheeled ambitions show little sign of fatigue, confronting repeated warnings about overinvestment. More than a dozen automakers […]

Is Renault Giving Up China?


Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told Chinese reporters last year that Renault was planning to make cars in China by working with Dongfeng Motor, which runs a highly successful joint venture with Nissan. Yet, in the growth plan he outlined on Feb. 10, "Renault 2016 – Drive the Change," China is clearly left out, while the […]

Is C-NCAP a Scam?

c-ncap chinese cars

China-New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP), run by China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) since 2006, has crash-tested more than 100 models. The vast majority of those tested cars were locally built by either native or sino-foreign joint venture companies. Some readers have recently asked why has carried no report on the test results, […]

“Hall of Shame 2010”


Posting world-record annual sales of over 18 million new vehicles, the auto industry in China is in a self-congratulatory mood looking back at 2010. Yet signs abound that this rapid growth in size is not equal to progress in strength or health. 1. Shanghai GM, which sold most cars among all automakers in China, tops […]

New Models from the 2010 Guangzhou Auto Show (2): GAC-Honda Everus S1


"Everus" has attracted much attention for being the first among a new breed of local brands to launch a volume-production model–that is, the S1 at the Guangzhou Auto Show currently under way. As a marque created by a sino-foreign joint venture (GAC-Honda) specifically for the local market, Everus is distinct from the brand of either […]

JAC Yueyue: Cute as a Beauty Queen?


The most popular superminis in China often look and sound cartoonish and baby-like: QQ, Benben (Benni), Lobo, Panda. And it is not just children they are targeting, but also young females. Although many connect baby cuteness with feminine attraction, few automakers have infantilized women so ostentatiously as JAC (Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd) has done with […]

Why Haven’t Chinese Cars Come to the US?

Plans in the auto industry are sometimes informative and mostly unreliable. Anyone still remember Chery’s deal with Malcolm Bricklin’s Visionary Vehicles signed over five years ago aiming to sell 250,000 cars annually in the US? Or Geely’s project in 2005 to export the CK subcompact to the US in 2008 as a "high-quality vehicle…under $10,000?" […]

Cadillac Sponsors Communist Propaganda Film


It is naive to believe any business would put moral considerations before profits. Even the "don’t be evil" Google enters a "devil’s pact" with Verizon when the price is right. So it comes as no big surprise that GM has made Cadillac the proud "chief business partner" of an upcoming film dedicated to the 90th […]

The Unconvincing BYD-Daimler Alliance

Daimler AG and BYD Co. Ltd. announced on 27 May that they were joining forces to develop electric cars. Details on the planned new venture, to be called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Company, are scant. There are quite a few signs, though, that the deal lacks substance as well as coherence, and should better […]