Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Transportation United States

Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year 431

Posted by timothy
from the but-will-they-be-reliable-like-american-cars dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Made In China." It's a sticker we all know too well here in the U.S., and yet, it seems not everything we buy is made in China. To date, there haven't been Chinese-built cars in the U.S., but we keep hearing they are coming. Now it seems it's about to become a reality, as Chinese-built Volvos will be arriving in the U.S. as early as 2015. The first model to arrive will be the S60L. The payoff for Volvo if it manages to convince buyers that its cars built in China are just as good as those currently built in Europe is vast. Not only will it save on production costs, but it will help buffer against exchange rate fluctuations. Volvo's planning to make China a manufacturing hub, and that makes sense since it's now owned by Chinese parent company Geely. But will Chinese-built cars be just as good as European-built cars, and will consumers be able to tell the difference?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

Comments Filter:
  • Bets, anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:46PM (#47255279)
    Anyone want to make any bets on how long they're being sold here in the U.S. before someone dies in an accident because it was made with sub-standard parts, or poor quality control?

    Don't mod me down as a troll or flamebait, either, because it's not like there isn't a history of low-quality crap coming out of China.
    • Re:Bets, anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:48PM (#47255303)
      So.... the same quality standards as US made (GM) cars then?
      • Re:Bets, anyone? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Tailhook (98486) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:12PM (#47255535)

        GM is approaching 50% foreign manufacture for the entire company. Their most popular trucks are 60% foreign [gmauthority.com] now.

        Lots of cars in the US already have Chinese parts. Japan has been outsourcing major drive train components to China for years. Chinese manufacturing is sufficient for automotive work. Even hotrod builders in the US use Chinese parts for legacy US designs; Scat and Eagle engine components [jegs.com] are very popular.

        • And yet my Dodge Ram is US body, US engine, US transmission, US tires and made within the last three years.

          • by Krojack (575051)

            Most Ford, GM and Chrysler's are made of parts manufactured overseas and shipped into the US where they are then assembled into the final product. Source, my dad worked at a GM assembly plant where most of the parts were shipped in from either Canada or Mexico.

            • Re:Bets, anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Algae_94 (2017070) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:33PM (#47256403) Journal

              Most Ford, GM and Chrysler's are made of parts manufactured overseas and shipped into the US where they are then assembled into the final product. Source, my dad worked at a GM assembly plant where most of the parts were shipped in from either Canada or Mexico.

              So your source that most parts are manufactured overseas is that they came from Canada or Mexico?

      • The GM problems were in design, which is different. But it doesn't make much difference to the families of the dead people. People are rightly furious at GM and swearing to never buy their cars again.

        American and European cars' build quality has gone up hugely in the past 20 years due to automation. Humans are barely involved in chassis assembly or any welding anymore. I have to imagine that these Chinese cars will involve a lot more human labor and will resemble American cars from the 80s.

      • by Tuidjy (321055)

        I own a Volvo S60-R made in Sweden, in 2004. Before we got married, my wife bought a Volvo S40-1.9T which was made in the US, in 2001.

        Apart from regular maintenance, and consumables like tires and oil, the S60 has needed its turn signal stick replaced and its CD player repaired. True, I have replaced the original clutch, turbo and downpipe, and I have added a second intercooler, but this was done to increase performance in 2005-2006. Since then, the car has been rock solid.

        The S40 had the shocks, the eng

    • Re:Bets, anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:50PM (#47255335) Homepage
      I've seen Qoros cars (a Chinese brand) on the roads of Europe for over a year now, and I don't think there's been any real backlash against them. Their sedan has a high Euro NCAP safety rating. One might complain that exterior parts rust faster than a more expensive brand, but then again, one can make that same charge against locally-made low-end cars.
    • by nuggz (69912)

      As opposed to the US assembled vehicles made with those same Chinese parts?

      • The way that you assemble those parts can be very import for safety and reliability.

        • by nuggz (69912)

          I'm quite aware of that, which is why the automotive industry is so specific about how everything gets done, and tested.

          Really the number of assembly or manufacturing defects in automotive is astonishingly small. A lot of that is all that "overhead" like having a control plan for every single component. The amount of background work to do anything in automotive is really mindboggling.

      • Re:Bets, anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ebno-10db (1459097) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:55PM (#47256665)

        As opposed to the US assembled vehicles made with those same Chinese parts?

        That's why I only buy solid American cars like Toyota. My Camry is 80% value added in the US, and my wife's Sienna is 85%. That's total value added, not just assembly, so most of the parts are US made. They're a lot more American than most so-called American cars. I'm quite happy having the engines and trannies built in WV, and having the car assembled in Kentucky.

    • by Yakasha (42321)

      Anyone want to make any bets on how long they're being sold here in the U.S. before someone dies in an accident because it was made with sub-standard parts, or poor quality control? Don't mod me down as a troll or flamebait, either, because it's not like there isn't a history of low-quality crap coming out of China.

      I was going to make the joke that there will be no measurable difference, but Americans will still manage to notice the difference.
      Thanks for the nice setup.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        WE already have this problem. Many GM car failures are based on low end China parts. Bad castings on control arms, bad machning on wheel bearings, etc...
        It will the the same failure rate as GM DELCO genuine parts.

        I know guys that look for remanufacturered older parts that fit before the real OEM replacements because the metal castings are Superior from anything 10+ years old compared to now. China foundrys are cranking out really low quality castings and GM does not care, they just hope they dont fail

    • Car technology is shit.

      Just pull away any panel and look at the switches and connectors. They are the cheapest, nastiest bits of crap you own. It doesn't matter if it's a BMW or a Skoda. They use the same shite parts under the covers. Generally the radio or "Entertainment Center" puts the rest of the car to shame in terms of component quality.

      I used to work on race cars and we used mil spec circular connectors [alliedelec.com]. Those things didn't break for want of a little bit of plastic costing $0.00001.

      The total added ma

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:46PM (#47255287)
    And toothpaste. Sadly it's getting harder and harder to avoid buying food that has at least some ingredients from China.
  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:46PM (#47255291) Journal

    >But will Chinese-built cars be just as good as European-built cars

    Yes.
    Have you seen the quality of European built cars?
    Have you noticed the vast Chinese manufacturing industry that assembles all the technology.

  • Whelp... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by whargoul (932206)
    ...that scratches Volvo off the list of cars I'd purchase.
    • Trying to decrease China's rise to power?
    • by synapse7 (1075571)

      My last car was a Saab, I'd wager nearly every part in the car was stamped "GM" and "Made in China". Unfortunately I became very familiar with most of the parts.

  • by tooslickvan (1061814) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @12:49PM (#47255315)
    Doc Brown: No wonder this car failed. It says "Made in China".
    Marty McFly: What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in China.
    Doc Brown: Unbelievable.
    • Tonka Tough (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:02PM (#47255449) Homepage Journal
      I'm told that Chinese manufacturers make things exactly as flimsy as their client wants them. Pay more, get more. Did Nintendo consoles lose their Tonka Tough reputation [orain.org] when Nintendo moved manufacturing to PRC?
      • Re:Tonka Tough (Score:5, Informative)

        by BigDish (636009) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:14PM (#47255559)

        I work for a small company that manufactures things. We have had the same product build by 3 different Contract Manufacturers (CMs) - 1 in the US, 1 in India, 1 in China.

        India CM:
        Downright horrible. Build quality was horrible. Constantly missed deadlines and turned small problems (that were known ahead of time) into crisis by not telling us until it was too late

        US CM:
        "OK" - better than the India CM, but still had manufacturing issues. Most expensive

        China CM:
        Very good - cheapest and best quality

        We are a US based company, FWIW. The language and time barriers can be challenging, but we have gotten the best pricing and build quality out of China.

      • by chihowa (366380) *

        Of course the Chinese can manufacture good quality products. The fact that they very often don't has less to do with Chinese capabilities and more to do with their customers. When a company is uprooting its entire manufacturing capability and moving it overseas, they are in a serious cost-cutting mindset. Shipping the manufacturing to China and maintaining the current quality will save a little bit of money, but shipping the manufacturing to China and cutting quality to the bone will save so much more.

        Doing

  • Chinese-branded cars make early KIAs look like a paragon of quality. The tradeoff of lack of quality for lower price might be acceptable in consumer goods, but in North American automotive world where baseline costs is dictated by regulations this simply won't work. Add on top of that economic drag off mandatory dealership sales model and you can't really cut the costs and overhead to create cheaper offerings.

    As to Chinese-made Volvos - unless they are offering 10 year bumper-to-bumper warranty you will no
    • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:07PM (#47255497) Journal

      Actually, the Chinese will build to any spec. If they can build it on the same quality requirements for cheaper, you tell them you want it to your quality spec and you pay less.

      This is unlike Germany, where the only quality level is "high", and you pay for German manufacture. German manufacturers won't provide you with a lower cost-tier and a lesser-duty-cycle product.

      By the by, quality is the degree to which a deliverable satisfies requirements. A car that falls apart after 5 years isn't any higher quality than a car that runs for 50 years, if you're going to replace either in 5 years anyway. If the former is much cheaper to own and maintain for the first 5 years than the latter, then the former is of higher quality; if the latter is cheaper to own and maintain, then the latter is over-engineered and can be stripped back to last 5 years and cost much less, better satisfying quality requirements.

      Many of us want cars which will satisfy a low total cost for acceptable function. The car should last longer to avoid a new expensive purchase, and require minimal maintenance to retain its important functions (reliability, safety, comforts, emissions, and so on). Our quality standards are the cheapest thing we can get for the presumed function and comfort level, which is why economy cars are so popular in the US: they don't save very much on gas, they don't drive as well as something with a V6 or V8 and a sports suspension, but they're cheap and they tend to have a good duty cycle (even GM's ecotec engines are built to last, never mind the newer non-Ford engines Mazda has been putting in the 3).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        A car uses approx. 1/2 the total energy it will consume in an average working lifetime during manufacture.
        It follows that if we wish a lower carbon footprint, we mandate a long lived car
        with especial emphasis on long life steering and drivetrains
        Thus the used car market gluts in a decade, ending the 'trade up' value of cars.
        result? Even the tier 1 buyers demand easily replaced bodies to go on long life vehicles, cutting life cycle fuel costs.
        • Buyers will not demand cheaper, more easily repaired body parts.

          Today's cars are designed to crumple in a impact, vastly increasing the cost of repairing a car and drastically reducing the costs associated with deaths and injury. Today, even minor accidents can cause a car to total out.

          Also, to meet mileage guidelines, car makers have to cram every small engines in smaller spaces with lower tolerances and higher compression, resulting in harder to maintain engines.

          Don't get me wrong – I think durabili

          • by sinij (911942)
            If you ever visit automotive junk yard you will see that write-off accidents are minority and mechanical failure is majority of causes that lead cars to end up there.

            Mechanical failure could be further categorized to catastrophic failure (e.g. timing belt in interference engine) and multiple minor concurrent issues that exceed replacement value. While I don't have hard data on this, I believe that leading cause of why cars end up in junk yards is transmission failure. Still, most of the cars that make to t
            • Let us your example of timing belts. One can use a chain, less prone to mechanical failure but it is heavier and takes up more room – both affecting fuel efficient. Or one can use a belt, which is basically a glorified rubber band, which is lighter, smaller, but more prone to mechanical failure. And because the current engine compartment is so compact on today's cars it is a real bugger to replace in most cars.

              Just one example of many. My personal favorite is engine compression. All things being equal

              • by afidel (530433)

                My personal favorite is engine compression. All things being equal, the higher the compression, the better the fuel mileage and the shorter the life of engine.

                I'd love some evidence for this claim, compression has been rising since the early 80's pretty much on a parallel with increased engine reliability. I know everything isn't equal as engineering has obviously gotten better over that time period, but the only direct large scale evidence I'm aware of says there's no negative correlation between compressi

                • Simple engineering. Higher compression ratios means that the engine is running hotter and under more stress, ergo shorter life spans all things being equal.

                  You are probably thinking of current day where they have mastered the engineering. If you look at the Japanese auto manufactures you can see small steady increases in engineering, fuel economy and higher engine economy. They were selling cheap, dependable, fuel efficient cars – they had to master the engineering. Contract that to the North American

        • by mythosaz (572040)

          Hardly.

          The average car "costs" 14,000 pounds of CO2 to make, which is roughly the same as a thousand gallons of gas. A new car gets 36 miles to the gallon, so unless you only drive a car for 3 years before lighting it on fire for Earth Day 2017, your math is wrong.

          A new electric car costs perhaps 30,000 pounds of CO2 to make, meaning it doesn't break even on CO2 until year 4-5 or so, depending on how dirty your grid electricity is (coal in Oklahoma versus lots of renewable energy on the pacific northwest).

        • It follows that we mandate a long-lived car if we want to save money, too, unless building a long-lived car costs 5 times as much as building a short-lived car that has 1/3 the life span. Most people will go for a car that lasts 6 years and costs $20k over a car that lasts 20 years and costs $120k--which is why we have economy cars all over the US, with a duty cycle of about 100k, at an average of 12k/year driving miles.

          That's kind of irrelevant, anyway. The Chinese can build high quality; they often b

      • by sinij (911942)

        >>> A car that falls apart after 5 years isn't any higher quality than a car that runs for 50 years, if you're going to replace either in 5 years anyway.

        Faulty thinking. While you might get tired and replace car in 5 years, a car that runs for 50 years will have multiple owners. Its residual value will be higher. Environmental impact of manufacturing and then recycling it will be lessened due to getting spread over many more years.

        Car that runs for 50 years is always highe

        • by PRMan (959735)
          The 5-year car may only last 3 years, though, where the 50-year car may only last 30. Big difference when you want a car for 5 years.
      • By the by, quality is the degree to which a deliverable satisfies requirements. A car that falls apart after 5 years isn't any higher quality than a car that runs for 50 years, if you're going to replace either in 5 years anyway. If the former is much cheaper to own and maintain for the first 5 years than the latter, then the former is of higher quality; if the latter is cheaper to own and maintain, then the latter is over-engineered and can be stripped back to last 5 years and cost much less, better satisfying quality requirements.

        By ignoring resale value, your numbers are completely divorced from reality and lead to irrational conclusions.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      early days? as an owner of a fairly new kia thats about the shit the bed at 72k miles (and thousands of dollars worth or repairs their worthless warranty wont cover) I assure you they are still garbage

  • There go your jobs if you support this business model.
  • But an ideological one.

  • "Get the lead out"

    :-D
    ba dum tsh
  • Buyer beware (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:01PM (#47255439) Homepage

    I'm minded from earlier cases of problems with Chinese-sourced products that the Chinese attitude is very much "It's the buyer's responsibility to make sure they're getting what they ordered and paid for. If they don't check, it's their fault for being so gullible.". Not exactly the attitude I'd be looking for out of a manufacturing center.

    • by nuggz (69912)

      Better not buy any car, since all the automakers and Tier 1's source from China.

      • Examples of Cars/Trucks with 75+% US manufactured content:

        Ford F-150
        Toyota Camry
        Dodge Avenger
        Honda Odessey
        Toyota Sienna
        Chevy Traverse
        Toyota Tundra
        GMC Acadia
        Buick Enclave
        Toyota Avalon
        Honda Accord

  • by fortfive (1582005) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:06PM (#47255491)

    Most of my apple kit is manufactured in China, and is as good a build quality of any electronics I own, as far as I can tell.

    It seems that the quality is determined by the design; that is, the Chinese manufactures build it as awesomely or as cheaply as you tell them to.

    The fear is that unscrupulous manufacturers will substitute inferior inputs, I suppose, but it appears that, at least for premium brands like Apple and Lenovo, that is not happening. As for labor inputs and standards, well, scruples seem to be lax everywhere but Germany. Personally, I try to be aware of the social impacts of the products I buy, but when I have purchased stuff produced under questionable social conditions, said stuff has never seemed to have suffered any performance degradation. Rather, unfortunately, the opposite is sometimes the case.

    • by sribe (304414)

      The fear is that unscrupulous manufacturers will substitute inferior inputs...

      They absolutely do that every chance they get. The key is that the big experienced companies don't give them any chance.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        We have a limited run of manufacturing where I work. Recently we had to make several software changes because they silently swapped out components (which is against the contract).
    • >the Chinese manufactures build it as awesomely or as cheaply as you tell them to.

      This.

      But manufacturers don't go to China because it's more expensive.
      It's either:
      1) They have many customers in China.
      2) China does manufacturing for less money at any quality level.

  • I'm not sure who really buys them. They have a legacy of being ugly boxes that are really safe to drive. That's not a market segment I'm familiar with, but as long as they are still ugly and still safe, I guess they'll be okay?

    I still kind of get them confused with saabs. Do they have the same stigma? Sabb drivers were upper middle class new englanders, so went the steriotype. Would they buy chinese? I don't know anyof them.

    • by MrLogic17 (233498)

      The only people I seen driving Volvo or Saab are college professors. Seriously.
      Must be the image of a foreign car with a "I'm smarter than you and I want it to show" attitude.

      And at least on my area, they must come from the factory all rusted out.

  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:21PM (#47255639)

    Growing up in the mid-late 80s, I vaguely remember the US having a total freak-out session about the Japanese taking over. I was a kid, but I've also been told that things like MBA programs did anything they could to jump on the Japan bandwagon, training people in Japanese management techniques, manufacturing processes, etc. People were absolutely convinced that there was some magic that the Japanese people and economy had that absolutely had to be emulated. Even before the 80s, having the Japanese car companies come in and encroach on the Big Three's turf was a huge mind-shift.

    I wonder if China is going to succeed where Japan failed sometimes, but I also know we've been down this road. There's no real secret to their success in manufacturing:
    - They have a huge population, and most of them are not averse to factory work. (We've taught 2 or 3 generations now in the US that manufacturing is a dead end job.)
    - A strong, authoritarian central government in China has control over the people and key industries, and can make instant decisions to bolster growth with zero debate. They can also crush dissent -- can you imagine how much easier life would be in the US without the president having to fight Congress over everything?
    - As we've seen, environmental laws aren't enforced the way they are here. Even the most laissez-faire among us can recognize that China has pollution problems.

    The one thing I see that's different from the 80s is that people in general in the US aren't as well off as they were. Even back then, there were still a few industries that provided lifetime employment at good wages. Same thing goes for retirement -- pensions were still available to some people, so they didn't have to be paranoid about retirement. Now, everyone needs cheaper and cheaper stuff. China is the home of cheap manufacturing and will continue to be for quite some time. Until people feel more confident and can spend actual income rather than incurring more debt, convincing people to pay more for a higher-quality product is going to be a tough sell. And that's where I think China might have an opening -- what Japan did for high end manufacturing in the 70s/80s, China is doing to the low end to some extent.

    I own a European made Volvo (I think it was made in Belgium.) It's almost 10 years old and has 120K miles on it. The engine will run forever, and the car is fine except for the things you would expect to start wearing out around the 10 year mark (belts, bearings, engine mounts, etc.) Volvos are (were?) designed for extremely long service life, kind of like Toyota Land Cruisers. It'll be interesting to see if the new owners keep the quality the same.

    One thing's for sure - the next 10 years will be very interesting. I come from the Rust Belt, and being a Rust Belt 80s kid was no fun. Now the god of almighty free market efficiency is coming for the last decent manufacturing jobs. Even more worrisome is the loss of white collar employment, you know, the stuff we studied for so we didn't have to work in a factory. Unless the economy does a complete shift of some kind, we're going to have to get used to extremely high sustained levels of unemployment.

  • I can't see how moving manufacturing to China will reduce quality. I think it may enhance it actually. Sure a lot of socialist swedes will be out of work but I won't ever own or lease a volvo again after my 2001 T70, defects, engineering issues (turbo falling out) and electrical problems all over. No thanks.

    • Volvo only makes trucks- the company dumped the car division but let it keep the name. Ford bought it, sucked out everything of value it could then sold it to the Chinese for 1/6 the price. Your 2001 was a Ford Volvo-- a few years of Ford shaking things up then it probably got better but not the same as it once was as ford extracted whatever value they saw before dumping it cheap on the Chinese. Something I believe was a $5 billion loss for Ford over like 7 years or something... they must have got somethi

  • ...if it manages to convince buyers that its cars built in China are just as good as those currently built in Europe...

    Talk about a low bar!

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:24PM (#47255673) Journal

    About 5 years ago I stopped investing in Chinese companies. Why? Because I didn't want to support even indirectly a regime that, without apology, oppressed Tibet and supported the despotic regime of North Korea. I hold them largely responsible for sacrificing millions of my long-separated brothers (yes, I'm ethnic Korean) through starvation and torture simply to keep a "buffer state" in between them and the "capitalist" (ha ha, what irony) South Korea and U.S.

    My stance was only hardened by their support, for purely geopolitical/economic considerations (OIL), of Syria and Iran (and, I think Libya). They and Russia have kept those regimes propped up and have made the tragedies in the Middle East even worse (of course America started it but at least we know now that most of us were idiots to be led by one). That's not to mention the authoritarian and despotic regimes that China is supporting in Africa purely for their resources.

    Look, I know the West (and especially the U.S.) have done a LOT of bad things but the Chinese don't even make a pretense of things like human rights, even in their own country. As I've said, they've been willing to sacrifice millions for a modicum of security (they could've asked the U.S. and S. Korea if, in return for not letting the Kims return to North Korea from one of their trips to China, we would promise not to put American troops north of the 38th parallel. As if S. Korea would even want American troops on the peninsula once the threat was gone). Now, living in S.E. Asia, I see firsthand how China with its growing power is throwing away treaties and agreements it has signed in order to bully the Vietnamese and Philippines with their ridiculous "cow tongue" shaped demarcation of the seas. They are returning to 19th century "gunboat" diplomacy in the 21 century world.

    I fear that as China grows ever stronger, they will continue to discard previous commitments to peace and will literally force their will upon the world. Is that what you want to support? I'm a realist, and I love my gadgets and my improved standard of living brought on by the flood of low-cost Chinese products (often produced with stolen patents and technologies but that's another story) and I'm not quite ready to live without. However, when there's a choice, when you can purchase something that is identical (hopefully) in every way including price to another but one is made in China and one was made in Sweden(?), I hope you'll make the same choice I do.

    If China, not the U.S. had the power the NSA has; would any of us have any protection at all? Think of what kind of world that would be to live in. (That's what 1.2 billion people ARE living in).

  • >> will Chinese-built cars be just as good as European-built cars, and will consumers be able to tell the difference?

    Initially, they will feel the same, but about an hour after they drive the Chinese model they will be hungry for an all-European experience instead.

  • by azav (469988) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @01:30PM (#47255743) Homepage Journal

    That 1984 US VW Passats that were made in Mexico are now the Volkswagen Santana, that is made and sold in China.

    The factories in Mexico were packed up and moved to China and the model remanufactured under the label of VW Santana.

    Every cab in Shanghai is essentially a brand new 1984 VW Passat.

  • Then either they dont come or pass US import standards.
  • Who built it isn't more important to who designed and tested it. In Venezuela, the state has partenrships with Chinese manufacturers, I have no plan to buy a Chinese mede car here because we don't have a certification or testing infraestructure, we don't have verified dummy tests like USA and Europe has. Why a Chinese made vehicle that pass USA certifications and tests be any different in quality than one make in Europe, if they are different in quality and both passes the tests, the tests are the problem

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Passing initial tests is easy. But just like American cars, what happens in 3 years?
  • Nobody buys Volvo because of who assembled it. They buy because of who engineered it. There is a difference there. Parts are made all over the world, are interchangeable to a degree, and can be assembled rather easily. What differentiates cars is who engineered them.
  • London Taxis (Score:5, Informative)

    by sir_eccles (1235902) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @02:10PM (#47256171)

    Just fyi, Geely makes the current iteration of the famous London Black Taxi Cab.

  • by beefoot (2250164) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:20PM (#47256919)
    The reason why bad quality stuffs are coming out of China is because either consumers demand lower price stuffs or companies demand higher profit. If you want good quality stuffs, you got to pay higher. A vacuum cleaner used to cost me $500. I can't even find one that is more than $150 at wal-mart the last time I checked. Anyone thinks they could get away with selling their cheap quality products at high price quarter after quarter, year after year, they are delusional.
  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:41PM (#47257111)

    The build quality of modern vehicles has little to do with where it is made. The vast majority of assembly is done by machine (with the exception of Porsche and some other high end cars that are still built largely by hand). What determines reliability is how the cars are engineered.

    Painting with very broad brush strokes, here is my experience with cars:

    Japanese cars: Simple design, minimalist engineering, extremely reliable and cheap to operate
    European cars: Complex design, somewhat over engineered, reliable but expensive to maintain
    American cars: Poor design, not durable (in my experience), not very reliable but cheap to fix

    Quick anecdotal evidence: I was taking my car in for some routine maintenance and they are giving me a drive home in the customer shuttle (a Chrysler PT Cruiser). I look and notice that it has about 80.000 miles on it and ask the guy driving it if it has been reliable. He tells me that they had to replace the motor mounts 3 times so far. 3 times! That, folks, is inferior design. My Honda has 110,000 miles and the original motor mounts. Original engine and tranny for that matter. Runs like a Swiss watch.

    I'm not suggesting that all American cars are junk but I travel a lot and rent a lot of cars and my perception is that Japanese and European cars are far superior. I have driven nearly everything on the road.

    What astounds me is that Chevy can build a fantastic car like the Corvette and yet nearly everything else is sub par. Ok, the new Malibu is a big improvement...I'll give them that. Ford? Well, the Mustang finally got rid of the live rear axle suspension. Now they are only about 10 years behind every other sports car on the road. Chrysler? They have some innovative designs but the quality continues to be horrible on balance.

    None of this is a knock on the assembly workers. If the cars are well engineered they will last, whether they are made in Japan, Europe, USA or China.

    • by Strider- (39683)

      What astounds me is that Chevy can build a fantastic car like the Corvette and yet nearly everything else is sub par. Ok, the new Malibu is a big improvement...I'll give them that. Ford? Well, the Mustang finally got rid of the live rear axle suspension. Now they are only about 10 years behind every other sports car on the road. Chrysler? They have some innovative designs but the quality continues to be horrible on balance.

      I've driven the Ford Mondeo and the European Focus... both were just as good or better than any european vehicle I've rented (though the BMW 1 series was pretty nice).

  • In the 1960's the prevailing opinion about Japanese quality is that it was inferior in every way except cost, and there was ample justification for that opinion. Then the same thing happened again a couple decades later, but this time it was Taiwan. In the early 1900's? Germany was the dog-shit bottom-feeder of manufacturing.

    All three of the above are now considered to be among the highest-quality manufacturers in the world.

    Things change.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

Working...