This year's Beijing Auto Show happening now has become much more about foreign automakers and big reveals for models being sold around the world, with Chinese companies largely pushed to the side. Has the Chinese market finally aligned with the rest of the world?
Perhaps the biggest surprise about China is that they went for Buick in a big way a long time ago. While the brand is on the rebound in its home market, Buick is arguably a Chinese brand first, and an American one second. Is that going to change?
Here's a rather lengthy thread with some good points from TMS:
I honestly cannot fathom how different car culture is in China. Like, I can't wrap my mind around it. Young people buy Buicks? People buy Buicks?
In the cities it's like they are all stuck about 2 or 3 decades back... everyone has shiny overstuffed coats and smokes like a chimney. They think a tip is an insult, and they will barter with you until they make a sale, even if you didn't want the item and purposely tried to insult them with a crazy 1/5 or even 1/10 their asking price offer after they verbally assault you in the street they will eventually cave and sell you the item... and you will still have paid more than twice what it's worth.
That said... would you buy a domestic car if everything made in your country was so hideously under priced?
I was recently in China and asked people about exactly this and it all came back to one thing, crash test ratings. Now, not just the ratings of how well the people inside the car survived in a crash, but also the condition of the car itself post-incident. On the whole, American iron survived better than Japanese makes and as Buick was the first american make to have a strong presence in China it received the fruits of that goodwill and continues to today.
Some good points. Is Buick going to keep its share as Chinese cars get safer (see Qoros), and as other luxury brands continue to develop smaller and less expensive cars?
Or do you still wonder why we talk about the Beijing Auto Show at all? Because if that's the case you must understand it looks much more fun this year than New York.
Photo: AP Images