Jeez, I’ve been linking to the Wall Street Journal a lot lately, but they’re the only ones reporting right now that the Chinese automaker Geely is apparently going to try to buy the Volvo brand from Ford.
I am confident that Chinese automakers will eventually become a major force in the auto industry – even in the U.S.
A little history – you had the shake-out in the U.S. that left only GM, Ford, and Chrylser standing as hundred of competing companies were out of business or were acquired over the first few decades of the auto industry during the 1900s. Then the Japanese automakers came in and exploited the product line gaps and lethargy of the US car companies in the 70s and 80s. Then the Korean manufacturers came in and started to undersell the Japanese automakers. (The European makes have come and gone as mass market vehicles during this time.)
Now, we’ll have Chinese car companies. They’ll likely be able to undersell or at least compete directly with the Korean car companies. And, it now looks like, they’ll be in a position to grab up some of the established luxury brands that Detroit’s automakers are having to dump.
Lots of things could go wrong (oh, like global economic slowdown, fr’nstance), but it’s beginning to look more likely that the Chinese car companies could become major competitors in the U.S. one way or another.