Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Another Competitor for Detroit
It was inevitable. With China on the verge of passing Germany as the number 3 carmaker globally, could anyone believe they would not be tempted by the world's largest auto market? An old name in groundbreaking imports, Malcolm Bricklin, will be importing a new name, Chery, to the US starting in two years.

Detroit has had to worry about competition from Japan, Europe and Korea for decades, but the prospect of competing with China--in some cases with car companies enjoying joint ventures with the world's top carmakers--may seem more daunting, given China's successes in low-cost production in other sectors. Does the answer lie in technology, and in moving the basis of competition onto platform a that Chinese companies won't be able to match for years?

Perhaps this is part of Toyota's motivation for its move into hybrids. After all, they have seen China coming for longer than we have, since so much Japanese investment has flowed into China and the rest of Asia for so long.

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