Home » The One Graph That Shows How America Opened The Door To Chinese Automakers

The One Graph That Shows How America Opened The Door To Chinese Automakers

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Are you ready for a wake-up call? It’s time for a wake-up call. Chinese automakers are in Mexico waiting for the moment they can enter the American market, and the latest data on vehicle affordability shows just how easy the rest of the auto industry has made it for them.

The sky isn’t falling, yet, but Hardibird is here this morning to drop a warning for everyone willing to accept the status quo. I’m talking to you C-Suiters. Either double your lobbying budgets to make it basically impossible to sell Chinese cars here or start making cars more affordable.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

It’s easier to see ages and epochs in reverse as opposed to knowing, concretely, that you’re in the liminal space between them. We’re in one now. You’re going to have to trust me. And we’re going to talk about that as well.

Finally, the UAW is making official its push to double its membership just as Ford reckons with the cost of all of this.

Happy Thursday.

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Vehicle Affordability In The US Makes Us The Target

Sales Graphic

The horse has left the barn. The egg has been scrambled. The piñata is in tattered pieces at our feet while a ripped 10-year-old rolling on a Dr. Pepper high stands there with a bat stands there eying all our Jolly Ranchers. That 10-year-old? China.

Take a close look at that graphic above, courtesy of S&P Global Mobility. That is depressing. About half of the market share in 2017 belonged to vehicles that cost under $30k while nearly 80% belonged to vehicles that cost less than $40k.

This year? Sub-$30k is barely over 10% of the market and only about a third are sub-$40k.

Automakers have managed to return record profits and used  supply constraints as an excuse to justify mostly selling high-end versions of their cars.

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Here’s how S&P Global Mobility further explains it:

For this analysis, S&P Global Mobility classified an “affordable” vehicle in the US as one with an MSRP below $30,000, compared to a $25,000 threshold in 2017. Even when adjusting for inflation, comparing 2017 to 2023, the US market has a net 16 fewer affordable models.

Notably, some vehicles that did not meet the $25,000 threshold in 2017 are now considered affordable with the $30,000 limit – including some trims of the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, and Honda Accord. But that’s based on raising the pricing bar, while consumer take-home pay has not necessarily followed suit – which is reflected in showroom traffic. (A word about methodology: S&P Global Mobility’s data is based on lowest available model trim MSRP, which in this case further substantiates the idea that vehicles have become less affordable.)

It’s more than last year’s inflationary spike driving price hikes in the US market. Over the course of the last decade, many OEMs who played in the lower end of the market have simply eliminated their entry-level nameplates – examples include the Mitsubishi Mirage, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta, Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, and Chevrolet Sonic and Spark.

If you consider it dangerous to have Chinese automakers suddenly taking big swaths of the market in the United States then you should hear the alarms so clearly they start making your ears bleed. It’s not a wild dream. They’re in Mexico right now, as our pal Kristen Lee’s mini-doc for MotorTrend makes clear:

Yes, there are tariffs and trade barriers and all sorts of reasons why we can’t assume Chinese cars will be successful here. There will be people who will say they’ll never buy a Chinese car, just like people said they’d never buy a Japanese car.

It may not happen now but, at this rate, it could happen soon.

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Sure, it’s possible that American consumers will continue to pay more and more and more for cars. It’s also possible they won’t want to and that’s where China can do what Japanese automakers did in 25 years and what Korean car companies did in about ten. I think Chinese automakers could do it in five.

It’s also potentially a good thing from an environmental standpoint — getting more inexpensive EVs into folks’ garages. If you cared about people having affordable transportation you’d be begging for Ora Funky Cats and Cherys and BYD Seagulls.

Also, they’re good cars! Better, in some ways, than the early Korean cars we got here.

While you’re chewing on that, answer this question: Why is it acceptable for the United States, Japan, and Europe to partner with Chinese car companies and reap huge profits for years and years in that country but it’s not ok for them to do the same to us? (The short answer, of course, is that their labor policies and government subsidies put them on a way different playing field, but how much does your average consumer care? And if your answer is “they care a lot” then explain all the Chinese-built riding lawnmowers, power tools, TVs, and everything else in your home right now)

It’s easy to point to greed as the cause of all of this, there are other factors as well, as S&P rightly points out:

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Manufacturers began to phase out sedans as CAFE regulations in the US became more stringent. The sleeker silhouette of a sedan is subject to higher, more challenging targets, while SUV-shaped crossovers – even if mounted on the same platform with the same front-drive running gear as their sedan cousins – are typically categorized as light trucks and thus given easier targets to hit in fuel economy regulations.

That is a key reason sedan models such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Fusion were dropped from portfolios, while their platform-sharing siblings Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Edge crossovers remained.

This! This 100 times. We did it to ourselves.

Of course, there’s no guarantee this happens. As this same report points out, it’s probably easier for Chinese brands to acquire domestic companies (a la SAIC/MG, Geely and Volvo/Lotus) or, simply, to focus on places like Mexico, Thailand, and Eastern Europe.

Still, the risk is there. If you’re a car company executive and there’s a voice inside your head going “Oh, man, what if the Chinese come here?” then now is your chance to do something about it before it’s too late. You’ve been warned.

Here’s More Stuff To Worry About

Jac Ev Yi

The fine folks at Cox Automotive have a nice summary of all the things to worry about in 2024 if you’re a C-Suiter:

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  1. Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is happening much slower than expected, and the profit margins are abysmal.

  2. The new UAW labor agreement will squeeze future profit margins for the Detroit 3 and has placed pressure on non-unionized plants in the South to increase wages.

  3. The rising cost of borrowing money due to high interest rates is impacting consumers, dealers, and automakers alike.

I think all of those things are valid. In the piece there’s a great quote from someone at Toyota that points out we’re now a quarter-century into hybrids and the take rate is 10% (though it’s going up rapidly). So the EV adoption issue, if EVs remain expensive, is an issue.

The UAW bit is true (more on that in a minute), though I think it’ll be easily passed on to consumers.

Of all these, the rising costs of borrowing money is the real pain for everyone. It immediately makes cars more expensive. It makes building plants, investing in research, selling cars, basically everything harder to do.

Interest rates need to come down.

Ford Revises Down Profit Forecast

Jim Farley Ford

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When GM dropped news of more dividends yesterday it also said it expected profits to come back roughly in line with its initial forecasts, albeit towards the lower end. Ford’s out with its estimates and they’re definitively lower.

Per Reuters:

The automaker now expects adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $10 billion to $10.5 billion for 2023, down from its prior forecast of $11 billion to $12 billion offered in July.

“At first glance, the reinstated guide looks encouraging,” Citi analyst Itay Michaeli wrote in a note. Shares of Ford were up 1.4% before the bell.

The forecast includes $1.7 billion in lost profits from the strike, which Ford also estimated led to about 100,000 units fewer wholesale vehicle sales.

Not great, but not terrible.

UAW: Toyota, Tesla, BMW Are Next

Uaw Striking Workers
Photo: UAW

Relatively high wages, good bonuses, and general geographical resistance to unions have meant that companies like Toyota, Nissan, and BMW historically have been able to resist union drives at their plants.

Polling shows that positive views about unions were already on the rise before the United Auto Worker strikes, and the success of the UAW has already forced many other companies in the U.S. that are not unionized to raise wages.

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That may not be enough as the UAW is telling reporters that employees at 13 non-union automakers are starting to sign union cars online (the first step in the unionization process).

From ABC News:

The drive encompasses nearly 150,000 autoworkers across BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Rivian, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, according to the union.

Union Summer is becoming Endless Union Summer.

The Big Question

What do you think about Chinese cars being sold stateside? What would it take for you to consider one?

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Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
5 months ago

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Seattle-Nerd
Seattle-Nerd
5 months ago

You have to laugh reading at every post where the concern is the Chinese will somehow take over America through trade and espionage so I will never ever ever buy a Chinese car.

These are many of the exact same concerns from the 80s where people were hyperventilating that Japan would use economic power to take over America.

China is a partner in some areas and competitor in others. They aren’t going to Red Dawn invade the US or do grey eminence behind the scene control.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Seattle-Nerd

I get what you are saying and mostly agree, but there is a big difference now with tech/data collection. It “could be” pretty problematic. Time will tell, but even the shitboxes will be recording, there is no escaping that anymore.

David Davison
David Davison
5 months ago
Reply to  Seattle-Nerd

In terms of economic competition, I think you have nailed it.
Where I am concerned is China’s claims to large portions of the Pacific, their activities in creating and militarizing islands in the Pacific, their hostility to the smaller nations around them ( and the US ) and their threats to invade Taiwan.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago

If you’re a car company executive and there’s a voice inside your head going “Oh, man, what if the Chinese come here?” then now is your chance to do something about it before it’s too late.”

Which I expect will be to have lower price point cars made cheaply in China, slap a Ford/GM/FCA badge on it and go back to a day filled with hookers and blow.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

You mean like the Buick Envision?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  M0L0TOV

Sure.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
5 months ago

I said it before and will say it again, the cheap compliance EVs we had 5 years ago were helping to drive EV adoption. Being able to pick up an eGolf/Focus/Soul EV/Bolt for less than $30k with tax credits really helped sell them. Nice reliable 2nd commuter car. All of those models are discontinued now, and the demographic that was buying them can’t afford $60k Blazer EVs. As they went with cheap ICE sedans, so they went with cheap EVs.

As for China coming in, yep, we’ve all seen that coming. Would I buy one? I’m at the stage where I’m looking for something less complicated, I think mid-2ks era is good as you start getting things like heated seats, but just has a regular stereo you can upgrade, not an ‘infotainment’. The wife wants a Bronco, maybe can talk her into an old Vehicross or some such.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
5 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

I like the expression “mid-naughties” for that period – just to make clear you’re not talking about a car from the 2500s.
My sweet spot is the nineties right now; I have a 2003 and both of my older cars are leagues better. Although that might be because the ’03 is a Ford, while the older ones are a Honda and a Toyota… I like pre-OBD.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Those are all OBD. The problem is CANbus.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
5 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Yeah OBD has been around since at least 90s. I used to not like CanBus but am warming up to it, there’s more tools now for working around it/with it.

The mid-90s are awesome, but getting old enough that the old plastic bits can start to crumble, and that’s when they started liking plastic for all the things.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

OBD1 started in the ’80s, but it was far from a standard, like OBD2 with different cars having different ways of getting diagnostic information. My mk1 Legacy (built in 1989), for instance, had two connectors under the steering column part of the dash that, when connected, would illuminate the Check Engine light (or similar light, I can’t remember now as I only ever accessed it once or twice) in a kind of Morse code, then you’d have to look up what the flashes meant. Other manufacturers had other methods. OBD2 was mandated in 1996. I don’t like CANbus because there’s too many things tied into the ECU that have no reason to be there and can cause unrelated problems. I suppose it’s not inherent to the system, just the way it’s implemented. For instance, my car has a recall for the blinkers which may not operate (seen on the dashboard as a fast blink as if a bulb was out on an older car) when sunlight hits them the wrong way…. WTF stupid BS is that?! The solution is to replace the entire rear light assemblies, which they don’t have the parts in stock for yet. It’s only happened to me twice and isn’t the end of the world, but that’s an example of a solution so “clever” it’s stupid (SOP for modern computer programming). An old school separate circuit wouldn’t have such a problem and LEDs would make the blinker circuit even more reliable than the already reliable old incandescents, but we can’t have that!

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
5 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Sorry, I wasn’t clear – my nineties’ cars are both JDM and have no OBD.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

What do they use for diagnostics? I’ve never had a single issue with OBD systems. They’re not always helpful to figuring out the true root of a problem or just confirm a strong suspicion, but they’ve never been the cause of a problem for me.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
5 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

No diagnostics, as far as I can tell. My grief is that the OBD always causes trouble with vehicle inspections in NY because some silly sensor triggers something.
Example: My wife didn’t fully tighten the fuel tank lid on our Ford, so it didn’t pass inspection. I had to have it reset and then find somewhere to park it off the street until I could go back to the shop to have it reinspected. Oh, and I had to drive it for sixty miles first. My brother had to spend thousands on sensors for his Mini every time it had to be inspected.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Yeah, but that’s a Mini. I live in MA and I think we’re #2 to CA for strictness. My Mazda had that stupid fuel tank lid error a couple times. It apparently wanted me to crank the hell out of it to not trigger, but it never bothered me before inspection. My new car can only click once and that’s all that’s required. I wish more cars had the capless system like my Fords had. Get one of those bluetooth readers. Those plus the app are, like, $30 and you can read and clear codes. You’d probably still have to drive it, though, in case they check when the codes were last cleared. My Mazda CEL would just shut off a short time after retightening the cap. That’s not really a problem with OBD, though, that’s an emissions or operator issue the OBD is alerting you to. I remember when it wasn’t. I don’t miss smelling gasoline from parked cars on hot days.

Ben
Ben
5 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

The problem is those compliance cars were money-losers for the manufacturers. Sergio was on the record saying he didn’t want anyone to buy a 500e because they lost like $10000 on each one. Those were basically a tax California charged the automakers if they wanted to keep selling cars in the state.

I’m sure EVs would sell faster if everyone sold them at a giant loss indefinitely, but that isn’t sustainable.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
5 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Good point, but I’m wondering if the money losing factored in the ZEV credits that they were getting from those cars as well. Probably not enough volume to matter. I think my old Ford Ranger EV was valued at about $50k when they were built in 2000, that’s a spicy meatball for a Ranger at the time!

They all should have stuck to plug-ins for way longer, especially GM, really dropped the ball on that, they could’ve made a Voltec Blazer to compete with the Rav-4 Prime and be raking in the cash. Instead of the “we have trouble making batteries” state they’re in now.

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli
5 months ago

My big concern is that Chinese BEVs are going to easily undercut anything that is being domestically produced. I think this is where they have the most ability to infiltrate. BEV’s, especially on the lower end, can be relatively non-descript and there’s less to distinguish one from another aside from the tactics of styling and namplate (ie, Mustang). If they come in with a $20-25k cute-ute shaped BEV that can go 200+ miles on a charge, they’ll win. The Bolt was the only one in this space and it’s going away.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
5 months ago

Chinese automakers will takeover the sub $30k market quickly if they can get a foothold here. Even if that means “USA final assembly” of major components assembled in China to a US built body at a small manufacturing facility. EVs will likely need the batteries built here also.

I suspect some people driving older, beat up, barely working junk would jump at the chance to buy anything sub $20k that they could rely on. Bonus points if two adults can sit in the front with two child’s seats in the rear.

Nathan
Nathan
5 months ago

They will probably go with the same plan as GM for the new bolt. Import cells and assemble packs domestically.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
5 months ago

If a Chinese car maker decided to start selling a pre-rusted Brown Manual Wagon with a twin turbo straight 6 and houndstooth seats on 15″ wheels, every commenter here would be singing a different tune.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Bravo. COTD.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

(Squelching noise from an overhead speaker): “Paging Mr. Toecutter. Mr. Toecutter to the white courtesy keyboard.”

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

twin turbo straight 6 DIESEL

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
5 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Come on man. Be realistic. 😉

Der Foo
Der Foo
5 months ago

It will be a long time before I buy a Chinese branded vehicle. It will probably be quite a while before I buy a US branded Chinese vehicle. However, if the quality (materials, assembly and warranty) exceed that of US, Japanese or Korean offerings, then that timeline moves up. It will never become a sure-thing, but the possibility will always be way out there in the future.

It should be noted that I probably only have about 25-30 years left on Earth, so the Chinese need to up the quality of their products to match the styling in the next 15 or so years.

M K
M K
5 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

Sometimes I get the feeling we ALL have about 25-30 years left on Earth at the rate things are going…..

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  M K

You’re an optimist.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  M K

I hope it’s even less.

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli
5 months ago

I don’t think that I would ever consider a Chinese-built car, but I would not be their target customer, either. I do believe in Made in the USA to a reasonable extent and it is a significant factor in my larger purchase decisions (things like furniture). Especially with larger items, while the foreign products may be cheaper, I then consider the cost to ship that item across the world and how much cheaper yet the item itself must be. I feel good about spending a bit more, knowing that that money will circulate in our own economy.
I raced in Peru last year and will be doing so again on Dec 10th (look for the piece I wrote to drop here on The Autopian this weekend). With no domestic car manufacturers to protect, there was a high percentage of non-descript Chinese cars everywhere down there. A rough recollection would say that maybe 40% or more of the cars were Chinese.

Last edited 5 months ago by Anthony Magagnoli
1500cc
1500cc
5 months ago

The author tells the automakers to make their cars more affordable. At the same time I recall he was fairly pro-UAW during the strike, and the net result of that was adding $500-$1000 to the cost of domestically produced vehicles. Can’t have it both ways.

86-GL
86-GL
5 months ago
Reply to  1500cc

Actually you can, you just end up with a fairer distribution of compensation between workers and the C suite.

Ineffable
Ineffable
5 months ago
Reply to  86-GL

Ford executive pay is $71 million. Is 71 mil divided by 173,000 really only $400? Cutting executive pay in half would give each of ford’s 173,000 employees an extra 17 dollars a month? That’s surprising.

Last edited 5 months ago by Ineffable
Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  Ineffable

That’s just one executive. Look at the entirety of upper management and the board of directors, and then maybe divert 1/4 of what is going to shareholders to workers, and it starts to add up into the 4-5 figures PER WORKER quickly in most companies.

Ineffable
Ineffable
5 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

No that calculation is all executive pay.

ElmerTheAmish
ElmerTheAmish
5 months ago
Reply to  1500cc

The automakers have chosen to make more expensive cars for the last few years. All the fancy “Starting at $24,798” bullshit is there for marketing, and, by and large, good luck finding anything but higher trim level cars (as noted by the linked Trimflation piece).

While the cost of the UAW contracts will be baked into future product, there is still room to move down in pricing if the automakers wanted to. It’s not glamorous, and doesn’t have high margin down at the shallow end of the pool, yet the automakers are – for now – still making enough money for their bottom lines. As soon as another manufacturer (Chinese or otherwise) decides they want into that space, I’m sure there’s a ton of people who will want in on those vehicles.

Jonee Eisen
Jonee Eisen
5 months ago
Reply to  1500cc

Why not?

Buzz
Buzz
5 months ago
Reply to  1500cc

Didn’t we just read an article about GM doing $10,000,000,000 in stock buybacks yesterday? That sounds to me like they can afford to take a haircut somewhere.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
5 months ago
Reply to  Buzz

Exactly, with US sales of 2.27m vehicles and globally 5.9m vehicles in 2022, that would be $180 per vehicle globally or $400 per vehicle sold domestically to buy back stock, with no benefit to the people working to build those vehicles or really to the middle class in general. Same for the dividends – $0.12 per share with ~1.4 billon shares is $167 million, directly to investors. Lots of money being spent to keep the rich fat & happy, but the money going to UAW members is what gets the attention.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
5 months ago
Reply to  Buzz

Really surprised it took me so long to find this comment. 100% agree. 10 billion fucking dollars. “We can’t afford to pay our workers a living wage, boo hoo. Ope! Found $10B! Let’s give that to … mostly us!”

Angry Bob
Angry Bob
5 months ago

Chinese motorcycles are poor copies of 40 year old Japanese designs. Harbor Freight tools are lucky to last a single use. If that isn’t enough, search Youtube for crash tests of Chinese cars. They’ll never make it here.

Torch’s Chang-Li is fun to read about, but I wouldn’t want to daily drive one.

Jonee Eisen
Jonee Eisen
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

That’s not the type of stuff they’ll export when it comes to cars. They’re much too savvy. It’s inevitable that Chinese cars will be here and they’ll be successful.

LTDScott
LTDScott
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

That narrative about HF tools is about 10 years out of date.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

Chinese stuff can be just fine. Even the Swiss use Chinese made parts in their watches with JUST enough assembly in Switzerland to be able to legally say “Swiss made” with a straight face.

Studdley
Studdley
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

My $12 breaker bar that I used to break a 400ftlb crank bolt loose and $10 angle grinder that I bought 8 years ago would like to have a word with you.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

Surprisingly, I’ve gotten good use out of my Harbor Freight tools. I’d prefer to pay more and buy made in USA if it was available at a brick and mortar store around me, but alas. I have some Sears tools from the 1960s that will likely outlast equivalents bought from Harbor Freight.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

HF varies quite a lot. I would never count on anything for high stress or constant use from there, but regular consumable stuff like drill bits or things that don’t need to be terribly accurate, like clamps have been fine, especially when the prices are typically 1/3-1/4 the price of midrange from elsewhere. I’ve gotten some junk, but also some decent stuff. Some of it you can tell is crap by looking at it, others are a dice roll.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
5 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

YouTube of yesteryear is full of POS Chinese cars earning zero stats in NCAP crash tests.
YouTube this year is full of top notch Chinese EVs getting 5 stars in said NCAP tests.
Underestimate your rival at your own peril.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
5 months ago

“It’s also potentially a good thing from an environmental standpoint”

Don’t believe it!

 https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/092915/5-countries-produce-most-carbon-dioxide-co2.asp

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

China also has 4x our population. Is it any surprise they put out a bit over 2x as much CO2 as we do?

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

No surprise, don’t support openly hostile regimes, or the misconception that it could be a net positive.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

The US has been supporting, even creating terrible and hostile regimes around the world for well over a century. Saddam Hussain, Osama Bin Laden, Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, those were OUR guys.

As far as persecution of citizens goes its well established that was the whole purpose of the US war on drugs. The US’s awful treatment of Native Americans is a terrible stain on US history too so lets not get too comfortable on that high horse.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Not on any high horse, just concerned that people with good intentions of doing the right thing environmentally are confused. Buy from Gossin’s if you want sustainability.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Aw Hell if you want sustainability ride a bike. IMO the mid to late 80s was peak bike but the other eras have their charms too.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Hamas were our boys at one point as well…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Back in the late 90s there used to be a tiny, hole in the wall Afghan restaurant I used to go to. Awesome, amazing food, really cheap and all generational family recipies. One of my favorites was the goat stew but really, there were no bad options.

The owner was an older guy, very shaky hands, always dressed as if he had just stepped off the boat. I assume he had some pretty interesting stories if only I spoke, actually I’m not sure which of the many languages of Afghanistan was his. I mostly communicated by pointing to the things I wanted

He was in no hurry so I had plenty of time to admire the decor while he was serving up my order. He had pictures of his former life back in Afghanistan on the wall; him behind a 0.50 cal machine gun, him shaking hands with Henry Kissinger, him with lots of other heavily armed compatriots, that sort of thing. In retrospect it wouldn’t surprised me a bit if one of those armed compatriots was Osama Bin Laden.

I still miss that place.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

They are also still building coal plants, so there is that. While CO2 per person is definitely a useful statistic, so is CO2 per GDP, where they are currently twice our emissions. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PP.GD

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Sure, they need power and they need it fast. Coal plants are faster to build than longer term hydroelectric and nuclear plants which China is also building.

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx

https://apnews.com/article/china-dams-business-49bd453ecd314b3b1292aaa429c91be6

I can’t say though whether those filthy coal plants will be shuttered as more clean power comes online. I expect some of them will or at least they might be used for backup power.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

They are also still building coal plants, so there is that.

So is Australia.

Last edited 5 months ago by Alexander Moore
MrLM002
MrLM002
5 months ago

I generally wouldn’t get a Chinese car, but if they made one that met my specs and was completely offline I’d have to consider it.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Much agreed. US, Chinese, European, whatever, I don’t want my vehicle perpetually online. Being able to plug a computer into it for tuning is ok, but this constantly-connected nonsense and over-the-air update non-sense has turned me away from new vehicles. I’m probably going to stick with 20th century cars from now on, even if I might put 21st century drive systems into them.

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

And relatedly, all the babying unnecessary reminders and nannies and the electronic monitoring and control safety garbage.

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
5 months ago

Is that graph of prices inflation-adjusted? I don’t think it is which makes it impossible to see actual patterns.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

I wish I could post pictures on here, because this article made me curious and I went and dug through vehicle US Average Transaction Price and household median annual income data and inflation-adjusted them to constant 2016 dollars (random choice of year, but it doesn’t change the shape of the trends). Long story short, inflation adjusted ATP has been climbing since 2017 and hooked up *hard* in 2020, and now sits at more than 60% of median household income for the first time ever (probably since the model T, anyway).
My reading of the data is that the automakers had better figure out how to bring their prices down pretty fast if they want to see annual sales of 17 million units ever again. it took from 2011 to 2018 to get ATP down from 57% to 50% of median income after the last spike in that metric, basically holding ATP constant while the economy caught up to it. That trick may not work this time, since median income has been on a downward trend since 2019, not growing.
Automakers need to find about $5000 / 15% to knock out of their prices, and I don’t think they have that much margin.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
5 months ago

Ford was going to build Fusion, Focus, Fiesta for US market in China, after making space for Maverick, Bronco, Bronco Sport, Fat 4WD Mustang in factories in USA, but they put on import duty on stuff from China so they would still be more expensive than Accord or Civic.
I wanted and was going to buy Focus ST build in China but in 2022 there was only Golf GTI available to test drive from all fun compact cars so I bought it

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago

I wouldn’t get a Chinese car, but not for the sort of reasons many here have. I grew up in a GM family in Detroit. That’s a pretty big deal there. So much so that if my friends or even my parent’s friends came over, if their car wasn’t a GM car it was not allowed to park in the driveway. Street parking was the only option. When I made a move across the country as an adult I got an Elantra as I settled in, which I liked at first. It was a solid ride. After a while though, that ingrained GM bias started to bleed through and (along with knowing that my old man would have been spinning in his grave) I traded it in for an ATS4. Whether it makes sense to anyone else, I dunno, but it made a huge difference to me that I had a GM car again. Basically, I’m a GM guy for life.

As far as others caring about whether their car is Chinese, I think there is a large swath of the country that only cares if a car is cheap and runs. Many can’t afford to be picky on a style or brand of car (hence Nissan), let alone afford to make life choices based on global economic policies or subjective moral principles on something as ambiguous as a set of wheels. At the end of the day, a car is no more important than a good pair of shoes to a person in, let’s say, a place like NYC. Nike or Temu-sold products seem to support this.

If the Chinese make good cheap cars, they will sell a lot of them.

Genewich
Genewich
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I’m in a similar place to you, but with Ford. My dad sold them from the time I was in middle school until he retired when I was 45. I’d have a hard time shaking off the conditioning.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Genewich

Ahh, the dreaded Ford rivalry. Even when I see a Ford that I think is relly good it still comes down to, “I’m not driving some friggin’ Ford.” hahaha

Skurdnee
Skurdnee
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I grew up in a GM family in Detroit. That’s a pretty big deal there. So much so that if my friends or even my parent’s friends came over, if their car wasn’t a GM car it was not allowed to park in the driveway.

This was my childhood as well; dad put in over 30 years at GM, uncle is still at Ford, etc. And I’ll never buy a GM vehicle as long as I live. My dad lost his pension in 2008, didn’t get a raise for many years after, and now GM does a $10B share buyback after fighting the UAW tooth and nail over long-overdue raises. All the while GM is outsourcing more and more to Chinese and Mexican factories. Fuck GM.

Last edited 5 months ago by Skurdnee
...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Skurdnee

Yeah, 2008 stunk. The loss of healthcare (among other things) right when my old man needed it most as his dementia was kicking into high gear was brutal. But, overall GM provided my family with a good life, paid for my college, opened doors for me post-college in regards to networking, etc.. It’s tough to forget the bad stuff, but the only real grudge I hold is with GMAC and lending in general (eat shit Greenspan) from that time.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Greenspan brought us hedonic adjustments and substitution. With the typing on a keyboard, hamburger is now magically steak. They can say inflation is much lower than it actually is, and have been doing so for 3 decades now.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Both my grandfathers worked in the GM foundries during and after the depression. That lifeline made them GM buyers forever. My mother’s father always bought a new Pontiac every 2 years and he had all his life investment in GM stock and bequeathed it to my mother. Fortunately he did not live to see the stock became worthless during the 2008 bankruptcy.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Lol Detroit and auto industry is like a girl who keeps getting beat up by her boyfriend and every time her friends ask about her black eye, she says, “oh he’s so sweet when he’s not angry and he takes care of me”

Look up Thomas Midgley Jr, the single person responsible for more death than any other in the 20th century because he thought it was a good idea to put lead in fuel, and how he was funded by GM. Think about how the dump hexavalent chromium into your water supply.

It’s awfully convenient that reducing production costs by not taking responsibility for the negative externalities of manufacturing literally poisons people’s brains and is scientifically proven to make them less able to critically think.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
5 months ago

“It’s easier to see ages and epochs in reverse as opposed to knowing, concretely, that you’re in the liminal space between them.”

True. This is among the reasons I am a geologist.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
5 months ago

Not to say that price of cars haven’t gone up, but the whole “under $30k” thing often forgets to mention inflation.
$30k in 2017 is $37k in 2023

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago

Yes, that graph was not inflation-adjusted and with 5-8% inflation during that period it it pretty useless. While the graphic was poorly constructed and chosen, the point that purchasing power has not kept up with auto prices is valid.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
5 months ago

36000 2014 dollars is 46000 2023 dollars so at least 2023 Wrangler Unlimited Willys costs the same as it did in 2014, but I could afford Willys in 2014

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
5 months ago

Chinese cars bother me.
I may have spent too much time with a security clearance, and may pay too much attention to how much surveillance China does on its own people (and us, via TikTok and similar)
But… Chinese cars in the US bother me.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

So you surveil China while complaining how China surveils others.

Interesting…

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

So you surveil China

I am? Shit, I thought I was designing welding fixtures and jigs for this here tractor… Damnit all

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

“I may have spent too much time with a security clearance, and may pay too much attention to how much surveillance China does on its own people (and us, via TikTok and similar)”

Sounds like you have quite the side gig.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
5 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Oh, nah. I was in the USAF for a while. You get indoctrinated with how COMSEC, OPSEC, and other security programs that make you think of things like someone stealing data without you knowing.

To this day I don’t like putting my name out there on the interwebs. Stuff like that.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

The U.S. is doing much of the same surveillance and is hiring all the same companies that operate in China to do the same on U.S. citizens. Have a drivers’ license or ID card printed from either 3M Cogent, Gemalto, NEC, Morphotrust, or IDEMIA by chance(as is the case for all 50 US states)? Then you’re in a facial recognition database, using the same photo standard that the Chinese government uses to monitor its own people and which is one of the lynchpins of its social credit system. And that biometric data is being monetized for use by private corporations, too, in both China and the U.S., and in most states through Memorandum of Understanding agreements exchanged with all sorts of 3-letter agencies(such as the FBI), which they can then use to identify protesters via facial recognition. The data is also shared with organizations such as INTERPOL, and even foreign governments.

This is resultant from the “mandatory digital facial image capture” benchmark of the REAL ID Act. DL/ID photos are now taken to the ICAO 9303 standard. It does not matter if your state has outlawed the practice of biometric data collection, has biometric privacy laws, the people of your state voted to outlaw the practice of such collection, or if you choose a “non-compliant” ID without the gold star on it. Government does whatever it wants, and you have to spend decades using the courts to try to get redress, without certainty of success and build up a case with limited information. If you want a deep rabbit hole, look up the lawsuit Kaye Beach filed in her state of Oklahoma over this.

Last edited 5 months ago by Toecutter
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

The real question is why go through the trouble when so many people put out all their info without even being asked..

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
5 months ago

Seriously is that graph correct, in 2023 almost 25% is $75k+ and 15% $100k+?

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago

First, it is great to see Kristen, even serious grown-up Kristen.

Second, Chinese cars are following the same playbook as the Germans, Japanese, and Koreans before them. The only thing that will keep them from being successful here is politics and right now that is an issue. The only thing that D and R can agree on is CHINA BAD. Rs don’t want to enable a global competitor nation. Ds have that plus undercutting labor.

Third, we need to get our rules in order. They are currently constructed to look responsible (Fake CAFE mileage numbers keep going up!) while providing SUV-sized loopholes for our well-lobbied domestic automakers to generate huge profits and afford to pay UAW wages. That keeps them fat and happy, us poor and underchoiced, and makes US automakers uncompetitive globally.

And lastly, would I buy a Chinese vehicle? Maybe as a secondary vehicle, which is how the other imports got their footholds in our market. It would have to be well-designed, well-priced, ecologically responsible, safe, and efficient. How many domestic vehicles match that criteria?

James Kohler
James Kohler
5 months ago

To me at least, the difference between Japanese products in the 70s and Chinese products today is that Japan was in no way at all prepping to invade the US. Many people will probably tell me I’m extremely dumb to think China will try to take over the US, but the fact is that they are a big nation with very little farmland. The US has the most available farmland, and space for increased population growth. If China’s not prepping for it, I’d bet they’re at least thinking about it.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

Wow, that is just about the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a while. The one thing the Chinese leadership are not is dumb. While they might love to have the US resources, there is absolutely no way they, or any other country, is planning to directly militarily invade the US.

Last edited 5 months ago by Chronometric
Der Foo
Der Foo
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

A takeover doesn’t always mean a military takeover. If you control a country’s money and government, you have a lot of control. Maybe you don’t ever plant you flag there, but you reap the benefits because you are able to project your will.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

While you could take over a democratic country from within through elections or coup, the military would have to go along. If there was any evidence of Chinese collusion or conspiracy that would be difficult to accomplish. Of course, these days no one knows what is true so I suppose that could be possible.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
5 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

Just no. China is currently our biggest geopolitically adversary. But they are not going to invade the US for our freaking farmland. They have farmland. India has farmland. Other countries have farmland and do not have FAR AND AWAY the greatest military force on the planet.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
5 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

There are many instances of China already buying farmland in the US and Canada. If you think it isn’t happening, you aren’t paying attention.

Its just not an issue right now

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Sure, the Chinese can buy farmland. If the ownership level ever got out of hand, as long as we control the actual land, Congress can pass laws to make it uneconomic for them to do so and regain control. Or declare martial law and confiscate it. This is just like all the money we owe to China. Owing money is a mutual endeavor and both parties must continue to have a relationship and be viable for it to continue. If one day we decided we are not going to pay it back, it would wreck our standing with the rest of the civilized world but what are they going to do?

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Florida already passed a law this year making it very restrictive for Chinese and people from other “specific” countries to buy land there.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

As a former Florida resident, I do hope they, California, and Texas are not our harbingers.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

As a FloridaMan, unfortunately that’s less to do with protecting our land and more to do with trying to screw over “The Other”

Still, a stopped legislature is right twice a year.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Maybe we can sell the entire state of Florida to the Chinese since it will probably be underwater in 50 years anyway. We Georgians are looking forward to more beachfront property.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Tybee Island is a favorite vaca spot for me. 🙂

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Valdosta is the new Tybee Island. You heard it here first.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Makes me think about how much more southern and genteel it is up there. Pretty rare to get a “hun” or “sweety” or that type of charm in America’s Hanging Chad Dong”.

Part of me would love to live in Savannah, but its drawbacks are real.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

I am paying attention, thank you. I just do not agree that China’s purchase of shitloads of real estate all over the world (including some arable land in the United States) suggests that they are going to (somehow??!!) invade the United States.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

The foreign nation that holds the most US farmland has a name that starts with C and ends with A.
And it has 6 letters.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

How dare China even think about taking over another country for its resources! That’s OUR thing!!

“Japan was in no way at all prepping to invade the US”

No I’m pretty sure they learned their lesson about trying that shit in ’45. Before that though you better believe they were!!

Cerberus
Cerberus
5 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

That’s why they’re watching Russia collapse itself from the sidelines. Nobody’s invading this massive island protected by the world’s strongest—and actually recently battle-tested—military and full of ill-tempered people who love violence.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
5 months ago

The Chinese cars will be here in five years. When the Detroit 3 give up on affordable EV’s and focus on pickups, BYD, Geely and whoever else can snap up a US supply chain battery plant will do it in half a heartbeat. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ford sold off its EV division, making this even easier. Those Chinese companies already have token American that they’ll scale as soon as possible. They also won’t repeat the same mistake of launching shoddy vehicles poorly designed for American tastes. When those vehicles arrive, they’ll be good and cheap. That’ll be enough for most people.

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago

Why is it acceptable for the United States, Japan, and Europe to partner with Chinese car companies and reap huge profits for years and years in that country but it’s not ok for them to do the same to us?

Because I’m an American, not a Chinese person. I support manufacturing in my country, not overseas. I support companies that create jobs here, not in China, I support crippling our only geopolitical adversary wherever and whenever possible, because I harbor no illusions that they aren’t trying to do the same to us.

What do you think about Chinese cars being sold stateside? What would it take for you to consider one?

I wouldn’t take one for free. Even if a new V10-powered sportscar was assembled in China or built by a Chinese company, I wouldn’t buy it. No force on Earth could get me to consider it.

86-GL
86-GL
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Where was the device you typed this on made?

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  86-GL

I was gonna say the same thing, but I don’t feel like picking fights today, lol

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago
Reply to  86-GL

If and when I have choices in where my electronics are built, I’ll avoid China as much as I can, the same way I do with other products.

If you think I’m somehow happy about the fact that we can’t seem to build computers here anymore, you’re dead wrong. Part of the reason for my strong stance on cars is to avoid something similar happening in that market.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

You did have it when Motorola was building phones in USA but people would rather over pay for Chinese iTelephones

Genewich
Genewich
5 months ago
Reply to  86-GL

For me, that’s part of the point. We still have a choice where our cars are made, but I’d be surprised if you can find a keyboard or phone made anywhere but China.I buy things made by companies that treat workers well whenever I can, but sometimes there isn’t an option.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
5 months ago
Reply to  Genewich

Samsung is a big one. Mostly made in Vietnam.

https://www.sammobile.com/where-are-samsung-phones-made

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago
Reply to  Genewich

Apple is expanding iPhone production in India as well.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

So was it ok to build Fords, GMs, Jeeps, Dodges in China for Chinese market?
Is it OK for Fiat to build Challengers, and Charges in Canada?
What about mexican build Silverados?

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago

It’s a (mostly) free country and world, companies can build wherever they want to.

I have four vehicles in my driveway that I’ve bought new; three were built in the US and one in a close ally (Australia). That is personally how I choose to spend my money.

Others are free to choose differently.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Doubt it

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago

Doubt what? That I bought vehicles built here? Feel free to believe whatever you want.

2013 Viper – Built in Detroit, MI. Literally in my avatar picture.
2016 Chevy SS – Built in Australia
2019 Ford F350 – Built in Louisville, KY
2020 Toyota Sienna – Built in Princeton, IN

Strangek
Strangek
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I applaud you for paying attention. We’re not exactly the right audience for the question anyway because we know that my Subaru was built in Indiana and that my neighbor’s Chevy was built in Mexico. My neighbor thinks I drive a foreign car and he drives a domestic. That’s a blurry line, but I’m not going to fight with him about it. The point is, pay attention and do the best you can to put your dollars where you want them.

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago
Reply to  Strangek

Amen to that

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I have very mixed feelings about China and any sort of dealings with companies based there. On one hand, I agree with you on the points regarding them being an adversary. I don’t trust what they’re doing with entities like TikTok and when it comes to cars being sold here it would always be in the back of my mind that they are somehow collecting data on the owners of these vehicles. I also can’t really support a totalitarian leadership that does not value (or allow) any basic freedoms for their people. And I think they are just waiting for the right moment to invade Taiwan and finish the job of subjugating the entirety of Hong Kong if they haven’t done so by now.

I, personally, would not buy one because I just can’t support what they stand for as a nation and I can never trust that they would deal with me as a consumer in an ethical manner based on past actions. I’m also lucky enough that I am able to buy at a higher end of the market so I can afford to be more picky.

So, while I can’t condone it personally, if US manufacturers were to have a really tough few years competing with Chinese manufacturers I can’t really feel sorry for them. They enabled it completely through their choices.

I also understand how manufacturers had to make the choices they did when supply constraints meant there were caps on the number of cars they could realistically build. They were able to keep a lot of people employed by chasing the higher profit vehicles and that makes a lot of sense. See also: food manufacturing.

Now as things are starting to level off there seems to be some sense of entitlement to the higher profit margins that all consumer goods manufacturers have been getting as they ramp up their volume again. It is not supposed to work that way; as volume increases price per unit drops but they are not following the curve and seeing how far they can push it.

I know the issue is a lot more complicated than all of that but I cannot judge someone if they choose to buy a Chinese made car because the rest of the market has abandoned those searching for more affordable options. I think that because of the temporary supply problems a lot of people panicked and would buy anything at (nearly) any price out of fear of not having something they needed. The manufacturers took that to mean we as a society would continue eating these price hikes in perpetuity. We’re starting to see some small examples of correction in this area as some vehicles sit on the lot longer but the response to this is much too slow in my opinion. Too slow in comparison to the way the market generally moves, which makes me wonder what’s going on. If I had to guess, dealers and manufacturers are trying to hold onto these high prices and they’re waiting to see if the consumer blinks first.

Ok, this is turning into a bit of a screed. The TL;DR version: Chinese cars are not ideal but we did it to ourselves.

V10omous
V10omous
5 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

If I had to guess, dealers and manufacturers are trying to hold onto these high prices and they’re waiting to see if the consumer blinks first.

MSRPs are ratcheting; they never go down.

What you will see, already starting and quickly accelerating IMO, is rebates and subsidized finance rates.

Dealers can’t hold this much inventory for long, all the more so because high borrowing costs affect them on their floorplan payments too. Now that the strikes (and associated inventory hoarding) are firmly in the rear view mirror, I expect both manufacturers and dealers will be eager to move units.

Tinctorium
Tinctorium
5 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

They are only ratcheting because people refuse to consider lower priced options.

Space
Space
5 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

Just to back up your first point, just today thousands of Chinese accounts on Facebook were found to be imitating & posting inflammatory political posts here in the US and were banned.
Just Image what they do on their own social media application scary.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
5 months ago
Reply to  Space

Well, if you look at TikTok they are using it to educate their population and use it to enrich the knowledge of children and others. then they bring it over to the west and use it to make us dumber so we can’t fight back.

I’m convinced that it’s all some sort of a plot and planned to slowly bring us down. I don’t generally believe conspiracy theories but I just can’t see what they’re doing any other way.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
5 months ago

The Mirage practically doubled in price in the last few years as the competition disappeared.

CAFE is stupid, and in fact when it first began in the 70s is when they started cranking out SUV’s on a wider scale. They are a direct result of CAFE loopholes.

We need to harmonize and recognize international UNECE standards. We can also recognize the standards we already use. Mexico accepts both, for example.

China can easily sell a car for under $10k here. Do you really think they’re afraid of a few tariffs? China can undercut ANYBODY, and they are NOT afraid to play dirty.

The funny thing is that Tesla’s Fremont plant was UAW under GM and Toyota NUMMI. Rivian’s Normal, IL plant was UAW under Chrysler/Mitsubishi DSM. Yet they STILL can’t unionize them! Half of Rivian’s Normal staff worked there under Mitsubishi and the UAW. That should tell you something! Having a number of leaders of your union in prison doesn’t help, either.

The UAW gives unions a bad name, and even other unions don’t like them! Why can’t Tesla and Rivian use another union like the IBEW? Perhaps they could be more successful…

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
5 months ago

I dunno if interest rates need to come down. They were so low for so long that people just got used to it, but where they are now is much closer to normal for most of our history. Maybe people just need to get used to this, rather than go back to the days of super cheap, unsustainable borrowing.

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Interest rates being near zero are part of what has lead to the current inflation rate. Easily-available endless credit drives the price of everything up because more “money” is available to chase the same pool of goods/services. It does not help that the official rate of inflation from the CPI is disparate from the real-world price increases people are seeing. Couple that with supply line disruptions and component shortages with subsequent focus on the high-end of the market, and we have today’s current automotive landscape. It is certainly not sustainable, although high interest rates will be a partially mitigating factor if this situation ever resolves itself(resolution may end up causing a few car companies to go bankrupt in the coming years).

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