Approval for two controversial Chinese-built cars has been received for import into Europe. Newspaper Automotive News Europe said last weekend that China Automobile Deutschland had received approval for the Zhejiang Jonway UFO and Shuanghuan Automobile CEO. Respectively these look like they came from the same assembly line that Toyota’s previous generation RAV-4 and the old BMW X5 model were produced. Only the Germans are still pursuing legal action against the Chinese manufacturer.
Not to be left in the lurch, Geely Automobile also plans an onslaught into Europe within the next three years, according to Geely International manager Ronny Wong. Several others will join GA, including Changfeng Motor and BYD Auto.
China has over 100 Chinese motor manufacturers doing business in China. A number of these have gone international into developing countries like South Africa (Foton, Meiya, Great Wall Motors) where quality and safety tests are not as stringent as in Europe.
Widespread dismissals of Chinese auto makers are often met with “we felt the same way about the Japanese cars in the 1960s, look at them now” from optimists. China, the world’s biggest factory, already has the labour and adopted know-how on vehicle manufacturing and some believe that within the next two decades China’s motor industry will be on par with the best from the west.