Notes on the Detroit Auto Show ... Can you drive in Chinese?

Jan. 18, 2008
Chinese automakers that included Geely, BYD, and Changfeng introduced new models at the Detroit Auto Show's press day events. Media reports on these cars haven't been kind, and with good reason. Other automakers just don't have much to fear from ...

Chinese automakers that included Geely, BYD, and Changfeng introduced new models at the Detroit Auto Show's press day events. Media reports on these cars haven't been kind, and with good reason.

Other automakers just don't have much to fear from these guys...at least yet. The build quality just isn't up to contemporary standards.

To give you one example, while shooting video for our EngineeringTV.com channel, the videographer and I opened the tailgate on one Chinese SUV and the hinge literally creaked, and fairly loudly at that. Imagine if that had happened on the showroom floor of a US auto dealership!

That got us interested in the fastening methods on other Chinese vehicles. To my eye, the ones we saw are all relatively primitive. They just don't give the feel that car buyers have come to expect from new machines.

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