Home » American Lawmakers Want Higher Tariffs On China-Built Cars

American Lawmakers Want Higher Tariffs On China-Built Cars

Morning Dump November 13 2023
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If I had a dollar for every time I heard about an impending onslaught of Chinese-built cars, I’d probably have enough money to buy a brand new Chinese-built car. Sure, various Chinese brands have held U.S. aspirations for roughly 15 years now, but Chinese EV dominance is now powerful enough that American legislators feel threatened. One potential solution? Higher tariffs.

At the same time, a federal judge has ruled it perfectly legal for automakers to read drivers’ text messages, auto parts giant Continental is reportedly shedding jobs, and the Volkswagen ID.7 comes up a little short on range. All this in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

Representatives Want Steeper Tariffs On Chinese Cars

2024 Lincoln Nautilus chinese car tariffs

It seems every week there’s some alarmist rhetoric about how Chinese cars are coming, but the fact of the matter is they’re already here. In fact, they’ve been coming for years, sold to Americans through foreign brands such as Polestar and, um, Buick. Huh. Is there nothing corporate America won’t offshore? Anyway, the trickle has been noticed, and officials are allegedly rushing to weld the floodgates shut. A Reuters report claims that a group of lawmakers wants to make it harder to sell Chinese cars in America by raising tariffs. Whatever your feelings are on Chinese-made vehicles, this reported proposal is certainly bipartisan, with an even split of supporters across party lines.

Representative Mike Gallagher, a Republican who chairs a select committee on China, and the panel’s top Democrat, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Michigan Representatives Haley Stevens and John Moolenaar urged U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in a letter to boost the current 25% tariff on Chinese vehicles.

“It is critical that tariffs on (Chinese) automobiles not only be maintained but also increased to stem the expected surge in (Chinese) imports,” they wrote in the previously unreported letter seen by Reuters.

If tariffs against Chinese cars come to pass, some manufacturers will be in better positions than others. Volvo should be able to simply export the EX30 from Ghent rather than China, but the situations around the incoming Lincoln Nautilus and current Buick Envision would be stickier. At the moment, there are no factories outside of China that produce either of those vehicles, and the entry level of the luxury car marketplace is certainly price-sensitive. Oh, and it seems that these representatives are reportedly looking for a one-two hit.

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The letter also said the United States “must also be prepared to address the coming wave of (Chinese) vehicles that will be exported from our other trading partners, such as Mexico, as (Chinese) automakers look to strategically establish operations outside of (China) to take advantage of preferential access to the U.S. market through our free trade agreements.”

Yeah, I’m fairly sure that’s how free trade works. Just take a look at Toyota, Ford, BMW, or any other automaker with an established North American presence and at least one factory in Mexico. Needless to say, this will be a difficult one to stamp out without seriously pissing off the neighbors, so we’ll see how carefully people tread here.

Apparently It’s Perfectly Fine For Automakers To Save Your Texts

Img 4875

Is your car spying on you? If it’s new enough, the answer to that is a resounding “maybe.” From location information to call logs, newer cars save a ton of information, and automakers are cashing in; it’s all apparently legal, to the point where The Record reports that a lawsuit over automakers harvesting driver’s text messages has been tossed out.

The Seattle-based appellate judge ruled that the practice does not meet the threshold for an illegal privacy violation under state law, handing a big win to automakers Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors, which are defendants in five related class action suits focused on the issue. One of those cases, against Ford, had been dismissed on appeal previously.

The plaintiffs in the four live cases had appealed a prior judge’s dismissal. But the appellate judge ruled Tuesday that the interception and recording of mobile phone activity did not meet the Washington Privacy Act’s standard that a plaintiff must prove that “his or her business, his or her person, or his or her reputation” has been threatened.

In an example of the issues at stake, plaintiffs in one of the five cases filed suit against Honda in 2021, arguing that beginning in at least 2014 infotainment systems in the company’s vehicles began downloading and storing a copy of all text messages on smartphones when they were connected to the system.

Unsurprisingly, just like every other electronic device, cars with infotainment systems come with end user license agreements, and if you delve into these arduous documents far enough, you might find that automakers are harvesting your data. It’s not particularly surprising, considering how insights drawn from user data can be useful to advertisers, but it is disappointing.

Continental Cuts

Continental Tire Production

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Tough times continue for the world’s auto parts suppliers. BNN Bloomberg reports that auto parts giant Continental is shedding potentially thousands of jobs in an attempt to navigate choppy waters.

The reductions are part of a plan to trim annual costs by €400 million ($428 million), the maker of auto-parts and tires said Monday. While the exact number of job cuts isn’t yet decided, it’s expected to be in the “mid four-digit range,” according to the statement.

ManagerMagazin reported earlier that the company plans to eliminate 5,500 jobs — 1,000 of them in Germany. Continental said it will dissolve its smart-mobility unit and plans to give a more comprehensive update at its capital markets day next month.

Hold on, dissolving a smart mobility division? That’s a bold move, although not entirely without precedent. Remember when Ford-backed Argo AI shut down? Anyway, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-x communication hasn’t quite taken off, many consumers seem content with Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems, and building autonomy is, well, difficult.

The Volkswagen ID.7 Falls A Bit Short Of Promises But Still Offers Good Range

Large 16437 Volkswagenid.7

Could the electric era mark the rebirth of the sedan? Volkswagen certainly seems to think so, and now we’re seeing some new, more detailed specifications of its ID.7 electric sedan. Unfortunately, not all of them are quite what Volkswagen claimed when the car was unveiled.

Slung beneath the floor sits an 82 kWh battery pack good for 386 miles on the optimistic WLTP cycle. That’s noticeably short of the 435 miles of range Volkswagen claimed at launch, and despite being great and extremely usable, it’s a bit of a letdown, especially when you consider the car’s relative performance. Sure, this thing may put out 402 lb.-ft. of torque, but with a claimed zero-to-62 mph time of 6.5 seconds, it certainly isn’t the quickest EV in the shed. Hell, it might get waxed off the line by a 20-year-old V6 Altima.

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[Ed Note: The Tesla Model S offers 394 miles on the WLTP cycle, and it probably has an additional 10kWh of battery capacity at least, so I actually think the ID.7’s range is fantastic, even if it doesn’t meet the goal. -DT]. 

However, speed isn’t the point, as the ID.7 seems to be about spacious, comfortable travel. With 18.8 cu.-ft. of trunk space, 40.4 inches of front headroom with a panoramic roof, an optional 16-channel amplified sound system, and up to 10 air cushions in the seats, think of this thing as a plush family cruiser, not an autobahn-grade sports sedan. Expect an EPA range figure and U.S. pricing to be released closer to this thing’s on-sale date in late 2024.

The Big Question

Alright, let’s assume that Chinese automakers do finally make it to America, even with raised tariffs. Would you buy a Chinese car? On the one hand, pricing may be extremely attractive, especially as American automakers have focused on high-priced models. On the other, building out a new distribution network is tough, especially when it comes to parts support. As ever, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

(Photo credits: Lincoln, Thomas Hundal, Continental AG, Volkswagen)

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Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago

RE: The WA state text message lawsuit-

Just need to point out that the issue here is a shitty state law, which requires actual damages to the consumer before they have a legal remedy. So the judge ruled correctly, just reading the law as (shittily) written does not give the plaintiff any legal standing, because they did not claim any actual damages.

I’m sure our legislature will get right on it, fixing this obvious loophole…. HAHAHA no, they’re just going to be doing more useless virtue signalling, because solving actual problems is hard.

CivoLee
CivoLee
8 months ago

Would I buy a Chinese car? Probably not one made in China, but if Hozon Auto or Geely opened a factory here in the US, I’d definitely scoop up a Neta S or Zeekr 001 respectively…

Scott
Scott
8 months ago

Speaking of Chinese cars, I was driving my NA Miata back from getting smog-checked in the valley when I saw, for the first time, a Buick Envista (the fancier version of the Chevy Trax). It was in a coppery sort of color… I don’t know which trim level.

I won’t lie: it wasn’t bad looking. Pretty much as expected in terms of current/smallish/aggro CUV shape and size, and yes, maybe a bit too much detailing, but overall, it was pretty decent. At least that’s the impression it made on me, but to be fair, I kind of like (what I consider to be) lifted hatchbacks and w/o ever having driven one yet, I’m sort of a fan of the new Trax/Envista for their practicality and relatively modest price.

The copper color wasn’t as amazingly coppery as the “Liquid Copper” used by Infiniti a few years ago https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9a/9e/c9/9a9ec9f83d51cfeb60bb116fed44184b.jpg but given how bored I am of all the monochrome, I’m grateful for it.

PS: being a ’95, my Miata has no OBD-II port. In SoCal, that means many smog check places can’t do it, since they only have the system that plugs into that port. Hence my trip out to the valley, where there’s a place that does it the old way (probe up the tailpipe, pressure tests of the gas tank/cap, etc… It costs a whopping $150., up from $100. just two years ago. Guess I’ll have to find a new place next time.

Last edited 8 months ago by Scott
Space
Space
8 months ago
Reply to  Scott

$150 smog check? That’s horrible, there has got to be a more cost effective way to check if a car is producing smog than to make every car pay every year.

Scott
Scott
8 months ago
Reply to  Space

Yah, $150 is too much… I agree. Because I’d been to that place before, I didn’t even bother to look at the credit card receipt till I got home, which is on me. TBH, I’ve only been to one other place (also out in the valley) that would smog-check non-OBD II cars (when did OBD start? in ’96 I think?) but that was years ago and it took over an hour (the old guy there was insanely thorough and didn’t move very fast).

I’ll have to remember to do some googling before the Miata needs smogging again in a couple years… to see if I can find a cheaper place that’ll do it that’s closer to me too.

Ron888
Ron888
8 months ago

So no reason given for restricting imports? Are we at the stage where this doesnt need to me mentioned because obviously?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago

Yes I just assume I am being taped and followed on everything. Your TV and Sirry devices do it too. That is why everything I fill out I lie. I am a women a Tran an Eskimo a white a black my income goes from zero to a million in seconds there is no law you need to answer correct. And when buyers of data realize the data is corrupt Noone will buy.
Also Chinese cars should not have higher tariffs they need banned until the Chinese agree to stop stealing tech, monitoring us, agree to a living wage and to quit killing millions of people

B3n
B3n
8 months ago

I’d buy a Chinese car in a heartbeat if they were significantly cheaper than their competition.
There are barely any cheap cars left in the US anymore.
And no, $20k+ isn’t exactly cheap for something like an economy sedan or a simple small pickup truck.
I’ve also owned several Chinese motorcycles. Reason: they are very cheap.
As they are my toys, I have a limited amount of money to spend on them.
Quality is what you pay for of course, the cheapest ones often need a bit of tinkering, the more expensive ones are usually okay.
I guess probably the same would apply for Chinese cars.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
8 months ago
Reply to  B3n

My last 3 dailies have been Fords. As Ford has completely stopped making wagons and sedans for sale in the US my next will definitely not be a Ford. I’m not married to domestics by any means, and I’m pissed that Ford stopped making the cars I actually liked, but that’s their decision to make (however short-sighted).

As the big 3 have decided to completely abandon the economy segment, let anyone who wants to try to fill it. If the domestic manufacturers refuse to engage that segment of the market then good ol’ capitalism dictates that we should let someone else try. Let China sell some econo-boxes. Maybe if they sell well then the big 3 might re-think their complete abandonment of us folks that don’t have money trees growing in the back yard and aren’t interested in taking out 6 year auto-loans.

(I say all that a bit-tongue-in-cheek. I’m generally anti-consumerist and disappointed at how the global markets have allowed China to basically cheat its way through the past 30 years of growth by stealing IP, etc . We’ve turned a blind eye because it has allowed us to get more and slightly cheaper plastic baubles. I’d generally much rather have strong domestic, unionized labor doing a lot of manufacturing (and yes I’d be willing to pay the premium and there’s about 1000 other things that would have to change before that could be a realistic plan anyway), but our consumer-centered policies have also encouraged domestic companies to basically abandon a lot of segments because consumers aren’t willing to pay $1.10 for a widget when they can get the Chinese version for $0.99. In this case there is still money to be made by the domestics selling low-end autos, they choose not to because why do so when you can make the profit of 5 Focus with one Explorer? If someone else is then willing to fill in the gap, let them)

Last edited 8 months ago by Eric Smith
Jb996
Jb996
8 months ago

I’m a little disappointed at the shallow political bent coming into this article. Jalopnik really started to go heavily that way, and it’s a huge turn off. Please don’t.

Statements like “American legislators feel threatened.” just needs editing. They don’t personally feel threatened, they think they see a threat to the US economy.
Calling out “alarmist rhetoric” is shallow and dismissive. There are also real points being made about systemic inbalances, and real debate about the role of government (both US and China’s) in protecting domestic industries.
“Is there nothing corporate America won’t offshore?”. What’s the point of this statement? It’s a logical fallacy. You’re just claiming domestic industry offshoring=bad, therefore protecting domestic industry=bad. Or maybe you’re making a pro-slippery slope argument that because we let in some foreign produced products, that we should therefore let in all foreign products without restriction?

Overall, this is news, and I’m glad you’re mentioning it, but I’m pretty sure the issue could be addressed with more depth and thought.

I think the above is apolitical, so feel free to stop here.

Overall, I’m a pretty liberal leaning guy, but…. People seem to think that the Chinese Government agrees with our western ideas of fair market competition. They don’t. To them, economic competition is just another front for national competition, and to them, it is a zero sum game. Economic skirmishes and warfare are viable options on the spectrum to real conflict. The US spent years working to create a free-trade market hoping that they would see the light and be a fair economic partner. But they have continued to, and will continue to, take advantage of us (steal IP, weaken our economy, manipulate currency, weaken our domestic industry by heavily subsiding their own, weaken our global influence) at any opportunity. To them, they can’t be stronger without the US being weaker.

Maybe I’m wrong, but please bring better points than just shallowly dismissing the entire discussion as “protectionists rhetoric”.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

Thank God there is another person who realizes these aspects of consumerism.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
8 months ago

I have a simple rule: You want my data? Pay for it. I’m not working for free for you.
The same applies to logos and merch. I’m not giving you free advertising. And I’m definitely not giving you my money to do it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andy Individual
Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
8 months ago

Wondering how many people that bought Chinese Buicks that didn’t even realize. Does the average consumer check build location anymore?

Personally I don’t know if I’ll ever buy a “new” car again, and used hoping to get Toledo built in the next few years so don’t really see it, unless they come out with some cool Pontiac Stinger/Jeep Jeepster looking EV and sell it here for like $20k, then maaaybe….

That Guy with the Sunbird
That Guy with the Sunbird
8 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

My father-in-law was dead-set on buying an “American” SUV. I suggested a Toyota Highlander, which is built 40 minutes from here in Indiana. He said no because that’s a Japanese company. He brought home a Buick Envision to test drive and was shocked and angry when I told him it was built in China.

Cerberus
Cerberus
8 months ago

Chinese car? No. I try to avoid everything from there as much as possible and definitely not something so expensive. Yeah, politics, human rights, IP theft, but a really big part of it is there is no way they’ll be good to drive. Developing a chassis with dynamics and feel is something lacking in long established companies today, even ones known for such things from countries with historic cultural connections to it. That’s not something that can just be stolen and I don’t see why they’d have any interest in pursuing such characteristics when it’s apparent from lack of numbers on the market that it’s not a big selling feature. That’s particularly going to be the case if they’re just going to be dumping disposable junk on the vacated bottom of the market. Never mind quality that holds up from a company with such a short production history (Hyundai/KIA can’t even get remotely good enough, never mind anything some seemingly random-password-generated brand-name-of-the-week Chinese company would put out). I’ve learned long ago that sometimes the cheapest choice can cost more than a more expensive one, but there’s also a cost to having something that’s deeply unsatisfying to own. For example, I would never buy another Camry.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Amen and anyone stupid enough to think a new Plymouth or Buick from a dead company but name rights bought by a Chinese company is American made is just an idiot. I didn’t fall for it from TVs and won’t from cars.

Scott
Scott
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Are there any ‘new Plymouths’ around? I don’t think so. If you meant Chrysler, it’s parent/owner Stellantis is a conglomeration of French, Italian, and American brands, and its HQ is in Amsterdam (in the Netherlands). Nothing to do with China yet. Recently, I watched a video tour through a Chinese car dealership on Youtube… some things were interesting: the habit of double color names, some futuristic interior designs, etc… and I personally wouldn’t mind driving a Chevy Trax/Buick Envista or a Volvo EX30 (all of which have CDM (Chinese domestic market) analogs but a lot of what I’ve seen there is off-putting just from an automotive enthusiast POV, to say nothing of politics, human rights, etc…

Last edited 8 months ago by Scott
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Scott

Just pay attention refu8to listen to idiots. And make your own decisions. I don’t want to tell anyone but want people to think

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
8 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Hiring foreign workers is a thing, the people developing new Chinese cars are largely hired from established companies.

Johnny Mac
Johnny Mac
8 months ago

The 82kWh GROSS battery pack is the small one. I’m sure the large battery pack is what they were referring to for the 400+ mile range.

Thevenin
Thevenin
8 months ago

It’s awfully hard to be excited about the ID.7. On one hand, it’s a sensible liftback configuration sedan with great range and charging speed. On the other hand, it has touchscreen-everything, motorized airvents, and it’s probably going to be priced like an Arteon.

Scott
Scott
8 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

Agreed. And if you removed the VW badge on the nose, it could pass for a reborn Nissan or something. At least the Arteon (and CC before it) were kind of handsome.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
8 months ago

I see two legitimate uses for tariffs.

  1. Raise funds for the government to operate. Hopefully nothing higher than 5%, or else it may stifle trade.
  2. Level the playing field if a foreign company or country is dumping products in our market (selling below cost) to put domestic manufacturers out of business.

I absolutely hate protectionist tariffs like the chicken tax on trucks. If it wasn’t for the chicken tax, there may have been a ute version of the G8/Chevy SS.

Would I buy a Chinese EV? That all depends on the quality. Is it a Geely built Volvo made to US standards? Yes, I would buy it. Is it a larger Changli with the same build quality of Torch’s? Hard pass.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago

Having driven a Polestar 2 – which is built in China – It’s definitely up to standards.

But nobody was too upset when craptastic Hyundai Excels and Yugos were being sold here back in the 1980s – they served a market and fit a need.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
8 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

I drove a ’91 Hyundai Excel for a year or so. What a piece of shit. BUT, it cost me $800 bucks used in 1997 and I got every dollar and then some out of it. It was $800 bucks used because it was probably about $11k new and depreciated faster than an ice-cream cone on a hot summer day. And we still need those!

We don’t ’91 Hyundai Excels, but we do need cars that are basic transportation for folks who live in places w/ poor public transport that still need to work basic jobs. I worked 14 miles from my apartment in Nashville and public transport back then took 2+ hours on a good day to get to work. I made $10/hr and was over the moon about it. I could have afforded a new car if I’d been willing to devote $250/mo or so to a loan plus $100/mo or so for full insurance. Instead I drove a shit-box and saved up enough money to leave and go back to school. I love cars (I’m subscriber here after-all), but just sick of the arguments that $30k for basic transport is somehow OK.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago
Reply to  Eric Smith

“… just sick of the arguments that $30k for basic transport is somehow OK.”

Exactly.

Nobody who works a couple minimum wage jobs needs AM/FM radio, AWD, power windows/mirrors/seats, adjustable steering wheels, multiple navigation screens and heads up displays, rear-seat entertainment, seat heaters, alloy wheels with low-profile tires, glass roofs, sub-8 second 0-60 times, fog lamps, etc – but so many mainstream automotive writers are clearly OFFENDED if they are tasked to review something that doesn’t have most if not all of the above wrapped in a NASCAR/Off-Road/Autobahn/FormulaOne/1%-er fantasy.

And low-income people definitely don’t need a heavily-depreciated German or British Luxury vehicle which still has German or British Luxury maintenance needs, much less a cheap Japanese sedan or American AWD whatever that’s financed at usurious rates due to poor credit such that the “owner” can’t afford to maintain them properly – nobody dares address that.

What low-income folks need is reliable, safe transportation that’s simple and cost-effective to maintain, seats 4, has a locking trunk, actual bumpers and bodyside moldings and handles reasonably well.
Something like a 1980’s Honda Civic or Mazda 323.

But Ford, GM, etc. can’t be bothered.

Last edited 8 months ago by Urban Runabout
Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago

Aside from the Chicken tax which is too high and do we really still need it, I think US Import taxes are to low on a whole. Europe taxes US vehicle exports 10%, China is 40%, but we only tax European imports 2.5% and currently Chinese 27.5%. Import of most other items to the US is lower than most other countries, which US corporations used to start manufacturing oversees and foreign companies love to send us cheaper products. A better balance on all US import taxes would be nice and we should be tougher on getting a fair deal on our exports. EVs are heading down the same path as solar, they wanted to have a big solar boom, cheap panels started flooding in, taxed the hell out of them, which on the consumer market kinda disrupted adoption. Perhaps what they should do is put caps on the imports, as a whole or per manufacturer, 500k from China at 5-10% and then anything more 25%.

Ryanola
Ryanola
8 months ago

I don’t think ‘pissing off the neighbors’ is a grave concern. Mexico is a steaming pile of shit, a cesspool of corruption. The relationship is already so bad, I refuse to buy a car made in Mexico (and, of course, China). The drug cartels (and complicit by force government) kill thousands of U.S. citizens per month with flow of fentanyl from China to here. Not to mention, just basic human rights. FUCK MEXICO.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

What’s the difference between human right issues of some countries today compared to all those over the course of history in the US? Tobacco isn’t fentanyl but the US has been shipping that poison all over the world before the US was formed. The UK’s role in the opium trade in the past, guess we should be against all British products. Sure its all bad today or in the past, but by the same token couldn’t the rest of the world express the same opinion or boycott of American products because of our past history? We get a free pass today cause we are not as bad now, but it was all built on similar issues.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

What’s the difference? Time.

Mexico is selling deadly drugs right now, Britain has not for 150 years.

Big difference

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

*The Sacklers have entered the chat*

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

Oh yeah, thanks for the more timely Oxy example.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, especially for those on the bad side of things. Though over time people do forget and then like pointing the fingers at others.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Time doesn’t heal all wounds when it comes to international relations, but when enough time has passed for all individuals to have long since died, all guilt is over.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Tell it to the Pallistinians, you can’t change the past your choice is stop it now or let it continue.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Time hasn’t healed anyone’s wounds within the US. When a generation dies, all sins are forgotten and forgiven, and the impact of what was done magically goes away. LOL Seriously. There are millions of native americans and blacks who would seriously disagree.

Well maybe China wouldn’t be in its current state if the British didn’t F it up, perhaps Mexico would be better off if the Spanish conquerors didn’t screw them up. Basically nobody should be pointing fingers at anyone else, everyone’s present and past is checkered.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets
Last edited 8 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Wikipedia? Anyone can post anything and there are no controls. Think like you need heart surgery. The best heart surgeon says you need surgery the lady at hippy crystal farmers market says you need to buy a jade crystal. The hippy lady is Wikipedia.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Funny thing is most Wiki articles – this one included – list their sources. This one includes the NYT, the US government, Washington Post, LA Times and others.

That’s a bit more creditable than some hippie lady.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Okay even a blind Squirrel finds a nut once and awhile but Wik like not a valid source

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

You’re drunk. Go home.

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
8 months ago

Having just got back from a week in Shanghai and a nearby city, the amount of EVs surprised me. I know I have read for years how there are 100+ automotive manufacturers in China, but it was a sight to behold. I would say that the amount of EVs was on par with the Boston area. Teslas were everywhere but my favorite manufacturer was Xpeng. The P7 sedan and G9 suv would sell like crazy in the US. They look great, different enough to stand out and when converting currencies, seem like a bargain.
Also amazing were the amount of “domestic” US cars on the road. I saw more Chevy Malibus on the road than I have in Boston for the last few years. I think I saw one with extended rear legroom as well. I was a passenger in a fleet of Buick minivans that seemed well made, no squeaks or rattles although maybe some of that has to do with the very pothole-free roads and highways.
Anyway, my head was spinning looking at all of the different machines on the road, including a 100% electric scooter fleet – no exhaust made for a quiet and clean city.
As for buying a Chinese EV, not 100% sure. I am in the mfg business and was in country because their law dictates we build there if we want to sell so maybe let’s keep some controls and protect the US manufacturers and prioritize privacy of consumers for all mfgs. But, man, if they opened up an Xpeng dealer near me and that sedan and SUV came in around $50k (assuming my conversion was right), that would be hard to pass up.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

Comments like this from people with experiences I don’t have are a large part of what I value here. So thanks for that

(sincere, not /s, cause you never know these days)

Scott
Scott
8 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Well spoken TOSSABL! 😀

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

Hey to sell in China they require you build there. So they want to sell in the US they need to build here. The answer isn’t one policy fits all it is your policy is ours. You ope we are open you require a million things we require a million things.
How is that not fair?

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Agreed. The more successful foreign automakers all had to eventually do it. My childhood automotive journey was centered around the basis that American cars were superior and foreign cars were for traitors and other similar thoughts. Then, the tide turned as foreign cars came with better quality, better fuel economy and for less money. Fast forward to when the Japanese started to build cars in the US, most of those feelings went away with those who shared them and the WW2 vets and others who disliked nationalities from an earlier era were all suddenly driving Avalons, Accords and Camrys.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
8 months ago

Maybe we shouldn’t have legislated for (mandated?) EVs before our local manufacturing is capable of providing the necessary and viable product for our market. Boomers did the offshoring and now they’re making the younger folk shoulder the long term problems of off-shoring.

Hot take: EVs are not the answer. And before people pile on, keep in mind, that EV’s being the answer means Elon was right. Swallow that pill suckers.

This is very tongue in cheek, so just go along with the silly, half-serious, argument.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago

Bad news I agree with you.

Church
Church
8 months ago

Could the electric era mark the rebirth of the sedan?

So far, no, it has not. Much to my dismay, all I’m seeing are electrified crossovers.

Volkswagen certainly seems to think so

I’m a bit unsure as to why they think people’s tastes will change just because the vehicle is electric. Can anyone help me out with what they might be thinking?

10001010
10001010
8 months ago
Reply to  Church

I just with they would turn their tastes back to performance 2door hatchbacks. We used to have dozens to chose from.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
8 months ago
Reply to  Church

My guess would be range. The lower height and sloped rear window should provide better aero, thereby improving range by a few percent.

I still see a fair number of Model S’s and have seen at least two Lucids around town. So there are still some folk (Like me) who prefer sedans.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  Church

VW is hoping to pull off what Tesla and Lucid already have: if the stupid costumers would rather have a crossover than a sedan, see if you can change their mind by showing them that the sedan has 50 miles more range, is cheaper, and has the same amount of storage space.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

No that takes courage and independence it is safer to follow the herd.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Have Tesla or Lucid pulled that off? Lucid is on life support courtesy of the Saudis because they chose to go with the Air first over the Gravity SUV and as far as Tesla goes, the Model Y outsells the Model 3 by a factor of 2.

Church
Church
8 months ago
Reply to  Tinctorium

This mirrors my thoughts

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Church

Laws got passed with company backing to make bigger SUVs legal to increase manufacturers profits. If we required SUVs to meet the standards they would never have been legal.

Clark B
Clark B
8 months ago

I think that if China were to bring competitive, and most importantly, affordable cars here, people would buy them. Sure, everyone says they won’t. And a lot of people will probably stick to that. But the thing is, we already buy a lot of shit from China, from electronics to home goods made there. Young people spend loads of time on TikTok as well. I’m guilty of buying certain off brand things that were certainly built in China, because the product was cheaper. Tools, etc. Hell, the cylinder heads on my 1972 Super Beetle are made in China, and came highly recommended from local enthusiasts and parts shops. And they’ve been great, I could definitely tell they were quality parts.

So yeah, I think there would be a market for Chinese cars. Maybe not at first, but I could see it developing, especially if they Chinese are able to undercut on price (which is what they seem to do best). Germany and Japan were both able to sell cars in post-war America–VW bringing the first Beetle stateside in 1949 and selling it in huge numbers by the time the war had been over for less than 20 years. Maybe apples to oranges given that Germany and Japan were defeated and rebuilding and China is an ongoing regime of oppression, but worth noting in this conversation.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
8 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

I would find it hilariously hypocritical if people did not buy them. “I want to do good.” “No, not with them.” Do you want to do good for the environment, or are you going to fall for the chinese = bad trope? They’d have to pass every safety precaution every manufacturer does and face the same capitalistic choice, be reliable, that every manufacturer faces.

Cerberus
Cerberus
8 months ago

For those who care about safety (most), passing the bare minimum safety regulations is a far measure from scoring high on IIHS like legit companies and, even then, there are plenty of issues from long term automakers, especially as they age. There are also no real regulations on reliability, just whether people continue to buy the product after being continually burned (probably because their options are so limited). Environmental regulations only have to be met to China’s standards during manufacture, which is largely however much the local authorities need to be bribed to look the other way. Buying small widgets that nobody else bothers to make, who cares, but the automotive industry is a massive part of the economy and important to environmental advancements, the latter of which China has showed little real regard for (just because it happens in someone else’s yard, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening). Giving that market up to China is like cutting off our feet because shoes are too expensive. Certainly, there’s an argument to be made that cheap cars from other countries are not profitable enough to satisfy greedy shareholders or even due to over regulation, which leaves the opening for Chinese junks (as opposed to Junks, which are far too good because China used to be awesome). When there’s parity between imports in both markets, I’ll entertain it then.

I’ve been going on about Chinese bicycles for years (big box store ones, not the higher end ones built by outside companies that have actual quality control) and how they should be outlawed as they are often built from such substandard parts and quality that they are borderline unsafe, they are terrible to use so they discourage people who don’t know better who are looking for a cheap way to try biking, and not financially sound to repair over buying a new POS (or if someone has gained some sense, buying a good old used bike) so they either end up in landfills/rivers/vacant lots/abandoned chained to trees/etc. in short order or gather dust for years in a garage before ending up there. A bike is bad enough, but now we’re going to pass that environmental waste up to cars all so we can meet some BS EV mandate we lack infrastructure to support and is further contributing to the dearth of cheap new cars?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

That is like saying I stuck a fork in a socket once so I should keep doing it.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
8 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

The success of Honda and Toyota importing and selling compacts and sub-compacts in the US late-70s through late-80s was the kick in the ass that the domestics needed to refocus on manufacturing quality and engineering innovation. Maybe they need another kick in the ass these days…

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
8 months ago

As much as I want competition bring prices down and to bring in new, interesting options, I just don’t see myself buying a Chinese car unless they’re bringing something to the table that other manufacturers refuse to build. I don’t see that happening.

If my choices are something along the lines of a Bolt, and a Chinese version with some weird Amazon knock-off sounding brand name, with limited service and support options for 2k cheaper? I’m going to take the Bolt.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
8 months ago

Americans..we say we want a middle class but we don’t want to pay for it.

Don’t worry, we can all get part time jobs at Starbucks. We’ll have a giant coffee circle jerk where we are all hand an espresso to the person next to us in the line at the food pantry.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago

In some ways I learned a lot from my previous vehicle that was made in China:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52472757796_099584eeb2_c.jpg

In other ways I learned nothing whatsoever, so of course I’d buy another one.

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

ummm, details please! (Or is this a thread on GRM?)

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago
Reply to  Jalop Gold

The short version is that about five years ago I bought a very cheap, very used Zap! Xebra and trailered it home:

https://live.staticflickr.com/815/41442798171_50d5d2c1ac_c.jpg

While unloading it, the steering linkage shattered in a spot that, from what I could tell, was unreachable without cutting into the bodywork. Following a bit of inspection and reflection upon its overall build quality and condition, I decided it was best simply to cut the whole thing into pieces and discard it.

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Sad but understandable. Thanks for sharing. I have immense, hard-earned respect for those who cut their losses on projects instead of going down the sunk cost fallacy rabbit hole.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
8 months ago
Reply to  Jalop Gold

You’re quite welcome but before you work up too much respect for me I should note that I kept another project car for about 35 years before finally dragging it out of my garage and passing it along to someone else a few months ago:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53155461865_9152264564_c.jpg

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

ahhh, that seems more relatable!

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