Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Automotive Future


Chinese manufacturers have a history of copying products from Japan and the West. Here in the U.S., we would call that theft, but in China that is considered respectful emulation. So, while I don't support specious environmental taxes on domestic or imported goods [see yesterday's post], it seems the better part of wisdom to know from whom you are buying those goods.

How about these examples? Chinese manufacturers' information from here.

Chery Automobile
Chery Automobile
Chery Automobile Chery Automobile Co.,Ltd. was founded in 1997 in Wuhu City, P.R.China. Despite its humble beginning, Chery has achieved many unlikely breakthroughs and become the fastest growing independent automaker in China. Chery is committed to developing world-class automobiles via cooperation with top engineering firms such as Lotus Engineering of the U.K, and Mitsubishi Automotive Engineering of Japan, and leading auto designing firms such as Bertone and Pininfarina of Italy. In its relentless pursuit of quality, Chery adopts DURR Paint Systems in its paint shop in 2004. In 2005, as a groundbreaking event for Chinese automotive industry, Chery starts producing China¡¯s first high-performance Euro IV engines in cooperation with AVL List of Austria. In addition, in J.D.Power 2004 China Initial Quality Study, Chery QQ finishes NO.1 in compact car segment. With an ambition to become a global player, Chery has so far launched its products in 29 countries. For the time being, Chery is developing a new line-up of products aiming at auto markets in the U.S and EU. In 2005, a strategic partnership is formed between Chery and Vesionary Vehicles of the USA for launching Chery products in North America in 2007. more info on Chery Automobile...

That's the CHEVY - Toyota....

BYD Auto
byd auto
BYD Auto
BYD Company Ltd. owns more than 40,000 staff members all over the world with its market value over HKD 15 Billion. BYD AUTO has adhered to the international development road and devoted itself to researching, developing and manufacturing the Fuel vehicle-vehicle and Hybrids-vehicle. Inheriting the car manufacturing elite from the former Tsinchuan Auto Co., LTD, which had a history of several decades, and melting the first-class technology of BYD IT and electronic equipments manufacturing, BYD AUTO has become a world-class auto manufacturing company. more info on BYD Auto...

That's the BMW Auto...

Lifan group Autos
Lifan Autos and Motorcycles
After 12 years' efforts, Lifan Group rapidly grown up and developed to be a state level large-scaled individually-run enterprise centering on science and technology development, engine & motorcycle manufacture and sales(including export) and incorporating automobile manufacture, soccer industry, financial securities, culture/media Chongqing Lifan Industry (Group) Co., Ltd is the biggest individually-run motorcycle manufacturer in China. Lifan's products are widely sold to over 100 countries covering South-East Asia, West Asia, Europe, Africa, South America. Lifan is new in the Auto industry but may be a very big player in the race of Chinese Auto manufacturers going international. more info on Lifan Car...

That's the Buick...

Qingling Motors
Qingling motors
Qingling Motors
Qingling Motors (Group) Co., Ltd. is one of 15 leading automobile manufacturers in China, and is also a large scale automobile group taking Qingling Motors Co., Ltd. as its backbone, 10 important subsidiaries as its cores and more than 200 suppliers as its support. Qingling is engaged in the manufacture of N and T series light commercial trucks, F series heavy commercial trucks and UC series MPVs with the newest technology from ISUZU.

That's Isuzu... maybe we can give them a pass because of an apparent connection to Isuzu... maybe.

Soon we will be importing all sorts of low-priced automotive products from China that seem to be just like the brands we were used to. Economists and government officials will talk about the "China miracle" and wonder why we can't do what they do.


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)