Sunday, November 9, 2008

China's automotive crisis

Apparently, US automakers are not alone in their dire straits.

From China Daily:

Chinese automakers are facing their toughest challenge in three years as demand is falling and profitability is plunging amid rising costs. The country’s auto sales fell in August and September as a 64 percent stock-market slump and the economic slowdown curbed demand.

The government held a meeting in Beijing on Saturday of more than 10 automakers to gather industry suggestions, Chen said. “It is possible the government may announce policies" to help revive the industry, he added.

The government is also urging automakers to take advantage of a reshuffle in the global automobile industry and speed up development of vehicles using alternative energies, Chen said. China’s government will help automakers with technology and financial support to make progress in the area of electric cars, Chen added.

It seems that Chinese automakers are trying to rally around their government's assistance, pull out of their slump AND beat the competition to market with alternative energy vehicles. Notice that the quote claims the Chinese would like to take advantage of a "global" automobile industry re-shuffle, which means to me they want to win this race.

So...where is the equivalent US resolve? Why isn't the US government encouraging the Big Three likewise? Why are the Big Three only interested in free handouts and pity? Something rotten in Denmark is the only answer I can find.

Now, how quickly can China produce the goods? This could be the only question that matters, because US automakers may not make it to February '09.

My hope is that they (the Chinese) can get them for sale in the US market! I would love to buy a reasonably priced plug in hybrid electric vehicle soon. Living Oil Free Now! means that citizens actually have a choice when purchasing vehicles that do not burn gasoline.

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