Chinese companies steadily penetrating US auto industry

Article by Anita Panait, on May 14, 2013

More and more companies from China are investing in the auto industry in the United States. Chinese-owned companies are making investments American businesses as well as new vehicle technology. They are now producing and selling almost everything related to the auto industry, like seat belts and batteries.

They are likewise hiring experienced engineers and designers to beef the talent and expertise of their own workforce. With these Chinese businesses getting more rampant in the US, it would come as a surprise if someday Chinese cars are sold in the country. David E. Cole, a founder of the Center for Automotive Research, noted that Chinese are behind the Japanese when they started doing business in the US around 30 years ago.  He added while Chinese lack the know-how, they are coming to the US to get it.

Chinese companies appear to be avoiding a public opposition similar to what greeted Japanese carmakers Toyota and Honda in the 1980s. At the time, abrupt arrival of foreign cars that rivals those from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler was perceived as a threat to American jobs.

Chinese carmakers seemed to be avoiding the attention of the public. For instance, Shanghai Automotive Industries, which is the largest carmaker in China, opened offices in suburban Detroit in 2012. However, they failed not to be noticed by Washington. In 2012, the Obama administration filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization that the Chinese government was unfairly subsidizing production of some parts exported to the US. China’s investments into US-made batteries and electric vehicles have drawn scrutiny since this sector has been heavily subsidized by the US government.

Topics: china, united states

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